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Family Travel Insurance: Europe and Worldwide

a suitcase with a deckchair, flipflops and an insurance shield

Planning on taking your family somewhere nice? The kids are jumping up and down with excitement and, let’s face it, you need a break! Holidays are great and mean you get to spend precious time together and unwind. To give you the ultimate peace of mind, we’ve put together this guide on family travel insurance for Europe and Worldwide travel, including comparisons between annual and single trip family travel insurance. Read on to see how you could save time and money...


Family travel insurance: what is it & who’s covered?

Family travel insurance is a packaging option for parents travelling with their children. The main benefits of purchasing a family travel insurance policy are:

  • It’s easier and faster - you can perform a quote for the whole family at once. This also means you will have everyone on one policy so less faffing around with documents.

  • It’s cheaper - insurers often allow kids to be added for free, or at least for a nominal amount.

  • It can be flexible - often (but not always) adults and/or children on the same policy can travel separately throughout the year if you buy an annual family travel insurance policy. See our dedicated section below - “does family travel insurance cover individuals travelling alone?”- for more tips.

That all sounds pretty good so far, but are there any disadvantages with family travel insurance? As with every insurance product, you need to make sure it’s right for you and there are always exceptions, which you probably expect! Here are some possible issues to look out for:

  • The price is commonly skewed toward the person with the highest risk factor (i.e. oldest or has a pre-existing medical condition). When it comes to insurance, risk equals cost. Depending on how much this raises the price for everyone will determine whether it’s actually beneficial packaging everyone together or not.
  • Check the fine print! For example, it may be the case that all named people on the policy must live at the same address or other such restrictions. Depending on your circumstances, it may not be possible to qualify for all family travel insurance policies out there. Our suggestion is shop around: don’t be put off by the first policy you see if it’s not right for you.

  • Some policies may not allow you to travel separately on an annual policy. While this is perfectly fine for some families, your hubby or wife may be esconding to places without the family and would have to take out different policies for those trips. It really depends on how many trips they (or you) are planning on taking. If you’re a saint (or a martyr) and they’re escaping a couple of times alone, it may work out cheaper if they take out their own annual insurance.

Another factor to consider is who can be included on a family travel insurance policy? Most policies will allow up to two parents and at least two children under the age of 18. If you want to take Gran, Aunt Agnes, your cat and pet goat too, you may need to shop around!

Who is usually covered under a family travel insurance policy?

Parent

  • Up to two adults on one policy, but it can also be suitable for a single-parent family (although there are some exceptions).

  • This also includes legal guardians (check the description for each provider before you buy).

Children

  • The number of children you can add to a policy is sometimes capped at a certain number. However, there are providers who state in their policy documents you can include any number of children.

  • Travel insurers usually consider children to be anyone under the age of 18. Some insurers go a step further and allow older children who are studying full time to be added (usually up to a specified age though i.e. 23 is quite common).

  • Usually includes step-children, grandchildren and foster children (but check policies carefully for any nuances).

The main thing to note about family travel insurance is the way different providers handle this product. It really varies across the board and if you’re ever in doubt, just give your preferred provider a call. They are there to help you and they don’t want you stuck later, any more than you do!


Family travel insurance europe

It’s inexpensive to buy family travel insurance for Europe. Insurers see it as less of a risk as it’s closer than other destinations and that makes repatriation easier and cheaper. We ran some quotes to compare a family of four against the cost of a single traveller. To keep things simple we did not declare any pre-existing medical conditions for either party. The family quotes are for two parents aged 35 years old, one five year old, and one 10 year old.

Insurer
Family Single Trip One Week Spain
Family Annual Europe
Single 35 Year Old One Week Spain
Single 35 Year Old Annual Europe
Puffin
£10.82
£36.56
£5.11
£16.25
Admiral
£14.73
£33.68
£6.03
£13.92
Virgin Money
£16.76
£32.46
£6.14
£14.71
Cedar Tree
£13.00
£28.50
£5.75
£16.00
All Safe
£13.68
£32.72
£7.01
£17.64

Prices are correct as of September 2019.

As you can see from the above table, it’s approximately double the cost for a family policy versus a single person policy. This makes it great value if you are travelling as a family (unless age or pre-existing medical conditions bump up the price too much). There’s also the added bonus that you can get a quote for everyone at once and have the whole family on the same family travel insurance policy. If you have to dig out the policy documents later or make a claim, you’ll be thanking yourself!

The excess on a family travel insurance policy will usually stipulate the first £X amount of each claim, per event claimed for, and then apply a maximum limit charged per family (usually double the single claim amount). As an example, if you are claiming for the entire family for cancellation and the excess is £125 per claim, this would usually work out around about £250 for the entire family’s claim.


Family travel insurance worldwide

Worldwide family travel insurance will work out more expensive than a policy for Europe, but the same is true for a single person travelling to a faraway destination. To give you an example, we used the same family as above (two parents aged 35 years old, one five year old, and one 10 year old, no pre-existing medical conditions). The quotes we ran were for a holiday to the USA.

Insurer
Family Single Trip One Week USA
Family Annual Multi-trip (Worldwide, including USA)
Single Female 35 Year Old One Week USA
Single Female 35 Year Old Annual Multi-trip (Worldwide, including USA)
Puffin
£30.77
£73.13
£14.54
£35.75
Admiral
£45.22
£62.99
£15.87
£27.07
Virgin Money
£46.07
£76.06
£15.57
£24.78
Cedar Tree
£37.00
£74.00
£14.00
£31.75
All Safe
£44.47
£83.46
£22.78
£45.00

Prices are correct as of September 2019.

This example works out nearly exactly the same as the Europe quotes above. It is approximately double the price for an annual policy as it is a single trip. Good to know!


Family travel insurance: annual policy

Taking the kids away can be both exhausting and exhilarating! Half of your family photos probably come from holidays and all the activities you get to enjoy together. If you are a family that relishes adventure and exploration you may find annual family travel insurance is for you.

Generally speaking, if you go away twice or more a year this should work out cheaper than buying single trip policies. There are a few caveats to that (of course!): it mainly depends on where you’re travelling to and for how long.

hands clapping

If you are lucky enough to have a holiday home in Europe and hop across the pond a couple of times each year then annual travel insurance is usually the way to go. Of course, you don’t have to have your own holiday home, just going to a similar destination (insurance-wise) i.e. Europe, will often work out cheaper if you buy a family travel insurance annual policy.

Here comes that caveat. Some destinations (such as the USA) are more expensive when purchasing travel insurance and will increase the entire cost of an annual family travel insurance policy. If you’re planning one adventure to Alaska and one beachside in France, you may be better off buying separate family policies for each, depending on how long your trips are. Even just a few days in the USA would greatly increase the price. Luckily there are plenty of great, easy to use comparison sites so make the most of them!


Single trip family travel insurance policy

Whether you’re going to Iceland or Disneyland, single trip family travel insurance is perfect if you’re planning just the one trip over the next year. The obvious benefit of buying a single trip policy is you only pay for what you need. It would be pointless buying an annual policy if you don’t make the most of it.

As we saw in the example quotes above, it is usually double the price for an annual policy. Therefore, if you take two or more trips in the coming year, this would likely be your best option.


Family travel insurance policy benefits

As with all travel insurance policies, the benefits (or limits) you receive depend on the provider you choose and the level of cover. Know what you need before getting a quote and stick to that criteria. Some of the big ones to look out for are:

  1. Medical - these are the most expensive claims relating to travel insurance so make sure you have adequate cover.

  2. Cancellation - if you have non-refundable flights and accommodation booked you want to make sure you’re protected as soon as you book.

  3. Luggage - if you’re packing screens for your kids so they have entertainment in the airport and during transit, check if gadgets are covered in a policy. Often you need to add these on for an additional premium.

  4. Personal liability - kids are known for getting up to mischief so this is a definite must have. In reality though, this is an essential part of any travel insurance policy for us adults too!

  5. Optional extras - don’t forget you may need an add-on to your policy. This could be anything from sports (i.e. skiing) to gadget cover (i.e. phones). Standard policies tend to exclude these.

Does family travel insurance cover individuals travelling alone?

man scratching his head with question mark over his head

You would expect that with family travel insurance you need to travel together, as the name suggests. If you are buying a single trip family travel insurance policy this stands true. Besides, you’re naming everyone to go on one specific trip so why pay more for someone who isn’t travelling?

When does family travel insurance cover individuals?

As we mentioned earlier, it really depends on the provider. Check the policy wording as many insurers cover adults and/or children on an annual family travel insurance policy when they travel separately. There are varying levels of flexibility you will find on the market, ranging from:

  • Rigid - everyone must travel together, at the same time, to the same destination, for the same period of time.

  • Middle of the range - an adult (and occasionally a child) can travel separately from the other named parties on the family travel insurance policy. This can be limited to one, or any specified number of trips though.

  • Flexible - each individual adult is covered to travel alone as many times as they like. We have seen some policies that extend this benefit to children too, as long as they travel with a responsible adult at all times (even if the adult is not on the same policy).

After reading all the information on this page, here’s a little quiz for you. What’s the key thing to remember about family travel insurance? Check the policy! All insurers treat it differently, but with a little effort you should be able to find the right policy for you and your loved ones. Now all you have to do is get your kids to pack. Good luck and have a great trip!


Data and information correct as of September 2019.

All material on this page and the selectra.co.uk website is for information purposes only and does not constitute any form of financial advice. Selectra.co.uk is not responsible for any consequences that might arise from your use of the information provided.

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