What’s the best Covid travel insurance policy?

In the age of COVID-19, having travel insurance has never been more important and I often get asked what the best covid travel insurance policy is and what I’ve gone for.

So, here’s what I looked out for, what I ended up going for and some other policies that look good on paper too

Please note: I am not an insurance expert! Please do your own research as well but hopefully this will be a helpful starting place.

Want to just skip to the best policies?

Why do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance covers you should anything on your trip not go to plan including lost luggage, falling ill, hospital visits and even lost, stolen and damaged items. It may also cover you should you need to cancel or cut short your holiday for reasons beyond your control.

Can I get travel insurance that covers COVID-19?

At the start of the pandemic, a lot of policies pulled any coverage to do with Covid-19 cancellations. However, slowly insurance companies adapted and therefore there are now many policies that will cover many aspects of a trip taken during the pandemic. More on that below.

Do I need travel insurance for UK holidays?

Yes! Whilst some of the big items – such as as medical costs – will be already covered if you’re a British citizen, there are plenty of other aspects that you may well want extra protection for including having to change your trip due to reasons beyond your control, and lost, stolen or damaged items whilst on holiday.

When am I best buying travel insurance?

As soon as you book a holiday! Don’t leave it until just before you go as you could miss out on possible claims if elements of your trip go wrong before you go away.

For example, many policies now cover travellers and their family catching Covid before they travel but you’d need your insurance policy in place before the result – you couldn’t buy it retrospectively.

Should I go for single or annual policy?

It completely depends on how much you travel but personally, I always opt for the annual policy. One – because it works out cheaper. And two – an annual policy means that I’m instantly covered for all my trips from the moment I hit ‘book’ meaning that if anything goes awry in between the booking and leaving period, I’m covered.

I’ll give you an example of why this is helpful. My sister, after a holiday in Portugal, flew to stay with me for one night in London. The next day, whilst still in London, she got her phone stolen and thanks to an annual policy, she was able to claim it under that insurance since she hadn’t returned home yet.

What details am I looking for when buying COVID-19 travel insurance?

Cancellation cover for catching COVID-19 before your holiday
Does the policy cover you if you can’t travel due to catching COVID-19 before your holiday?

Cancellation cover if you’re told to self-isolate
Does the policy cover you if you get told to isolate by test and trace? What about if you get pinged by the NHS app?

Cancellation cover if the FCDO advice changes, or a lockdown is put in place
Does the policy cover a sudden change in the circumstances both at home and at your destination?

Medical cover for catching COVID-19 whilst on your holiday
Does the policy provide emergency medical cover and repatriation if you catch COVID-10 whilst away?

Excess
How much does the policy ask you to pay before they cover your costs?

My travel insurance policy

  • Insurance Company: Coverwise (AXA)
  • Product type: Silver
  • Policy type: Annual Multi Trip Insurance
  • Geographical area: Worldwide (inc. USA, Canada and Caribbean)
  • 2021-22 cost: £29.50
  • Emergency medical cover: £20 million
  • Cancellation or curtailment: £2000
  • Baggage: £1500
  • Personal money: £200 cash and £150 other money and documents
  • Personal liability: £2 million
  • Excess: Nil – £50

My experiences of Coverwise's Silver Annual Multi Trip insurance policy

I’ve had an annual multi trip policy with Coverwise for many years and always find the price competitive for what’s on offer – for me, it’s a good combination of coverage versus value.

I have also have found their communication around COVID-19 really clear and when asking for clarity on details or copies of my policy, I’ve found their customer service on the phone helpful and on email they’ve always got back to me in 3-5 days.  

However, I’ve never claimed on my insurance and so whilst it meets my needs on paper, I can’t comment on them honouring their policy details but you can read other independent customer reviews here.

What is Coverwise's Covid travel insurance policy?

Please note: These details are subject to change – please always check what’s on offer before you buy.

Cancellation cover for catching COVID-19 before your holiday
Yes, my policy provides ‘cover for cancellation due to you falling ill with COVID-19, subject to medical certification or an official test result’.

Cancellation cover if you’re told to self-isolate
Yes, my policy provides ‘cover for cancellation due to being required to self-isolate’ by test and trace. I checked and it does not cover being pinged by the NHS app as it is not a legal requirement to isolate in this instance.

Cancellation cover if the FCDO advice changes, or a lockdown is put in place
My policy does not cover FCDO advice changes or a sudden lockdown (this is fairly standard for most independent policies).

Medical cover for catching COVID-19 whilst on your holiday
Yes, my policy provides ‘cover for any medical claim due to COVID-19 while travelling if there was no Foreign, Commonwealth and Development (FCDO) warning against all or all but essential travel due to COVID-19 when you departed. We’ve also included cover for curtailment (if you need to come home early) due to the illness of a close relative back home due to COVID-19.”

Excess
My policy has a Nil to £50 excess.

The best Covid travel insurance policies

There are currently three banks that offer great Covid travel insurance policies that could even cover FCDO changes and lockdown changes, however you do need to have a specific bank accounts that may well come with their own monthly fees.

The good news is that there are plenty of other comprehensive policies on offer that don’t require you to hold a specific account that you can get sorted straightaway.

Coverwise Travel Insurance

Benefits include:

Please read through all the policy details to check your needs are covered and check the FCDO and local government advice before travelling.

Staysure

Benefits include:

Please read through all the policy details to check your needs are covered and check the FCDO and local government advice before travelling.

Avanti

Benefits include:

Please read through all the policy details to check your needs are covered and check the FCDO and local government advice before travelling.

Cedar Tree

Benefits include:

Please read through all the policy details to check your needs are covered and check the FCDO and local government advice before travelling.

Cover For You

Benefits include:

Please read through all the policy details to check your needs are covered and check the FCDO and local government advice before travelling.

Insure For Travel

Please read through all the policy details to check your needs are covered and check the FCDO and local government advice before travelling.

I need insurance for a country that the FCDO advise against travelling to

If you’re heading somewhere that the FCDO are still advising against, don’t worry – there are still options!

Battleface

FCDO ‘Non Essential’ destinations benefits:

Please read through all the policy details to check your needs are covered and check the FCDO and local government advice before travelling.

Staysure

FCDO ‘Non Essential’ destinations benefits:

Please read through all the policy details to check your needs are covered and check the FCDO and local government advice before travelling.

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