You want to go for memorable family holiday, but you’d like to be sure to be covered for you and your loved ones if something unexpected go wrong whilst travelling with your family abroad?
You should definitely get family travel insurance as soon as you have booked your family trip.
In the below article, we will tell you everything you need to know about family travel insurance: which cover you should go for, insurers, prices, contacts and tips.
Table of Contents
What is family travel insurance?
Finding a good comprehensive travel insurance, although not compulsory, is vital if you are planning to travel with your loved ones. However, buying a single trip travel insurance for each member of your family (spouse, children etc.) might quickly become prohibitive. This is why you should definitely get family travel insurance.
Family travel insurances, as the name suggests, aim to cover members of a family travelling together abroad for any medical expense, repatriation, trip cancellation, baggages expenses they may face abroad. Family travel insurance is particularly important as family trips most often represent significant budgets.
A standard family holiday insurance covers at least one adult travelling with one child. Most often, you can add up to 8 persons (adults and children under 18) on a single family holiday insurance as long as age limits are respected. Insurers may ask that everyone travelling together live at the same address.
Family travel insurances can cover:
- spouse (by marriage, civil union, common-law or domestic partnership)
- children, foster children, stepchildren, adopted children
- parents and stepparents
- grandparents and grandchildren
- aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces
- mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparent in-laws
- cohabitants (a person who has lived with you for the past 12 months and who is above 18)
- legal guardians
- service animals.
Note that your children still in full-time education might still be covered under the same family policy providing they are under 23. Carefully check the policy booklet.
Childcare related costs such as baby-sittings are usually never covered by travel insurances for families.
Insurers will also ask people named on the policy to:
- Permanently reside in the UK (England,Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man).
- Register with a General Practicioner in the UK
- Held a UK National Insurance number (where aged 16 years of age or older)
- Are not travelling against GP advice or to receive medical treatment.
- Are returning to the United Kingdom.
Why do I need family travel insurance?
A comprehensive family travel insurance covers you in the event of a mishap encountered anywhere abroad. In fact, you, or your spouse and children, are not immune to an accident or illness that could go so far as to justify your repatriation to UK. There are many examples: infections, transport accidents, loss or theft of luggage.
Did you know that a survey conducted by Which in 2018 showed that of about 10000 UK travellers of all age ranges, 64% had medical treatment while they were travelling abroad? Today the average medical claim abroad is £1300 according to comparethemarket when you can find annual family travel insurance starting at a few pounds per day.
Just to show you how important applying for travel insurance is, here are a few examples of what an unfortunate and unexpected event might cost you during an example holiday:
|How much will you have to pay||Without travel insurance nor EHIC |
(e.g. trip to USA)
|Without travel insurance but with EHIC||With travel insurance|
|My kid got injured whilst travelling and need a surgery abroad||£30 000||£0|
in public hospitals only
until medical limit is reached
|We need to book round-trip transportation for the person injured and another person of the family||£39 000||£39 000||£0|
most often real fees
|We need to cancel our trip because of family's bereavement||£20000||£20000||£0|
until trip cancellation / interruption limit is reached
|My mother lost her baggage at the airport||£1000||£1000||£0|
until personal belongings limit is reached
Applying for family holiday insurance will prevent you from having to face any unexpected and significant expenses for you or your travel partners as described above.
The European Health Insurance Card for family holidays
Always remember that while travelling in Europe, your first ally is your European Health Insurance Card. Your EHIC will cover for any treatment you may need abroad, including any treatment linked to a pre-existing medical condition as any local national would be covered.
The EHIC is individual and you must get one (free-of-charge) for you and your spouse and children if travelling in Europe together.
|What is covered by EHIC?||What is not covered by EHIC|
Remember that your EHIC will only cover you until 31/12/2020, the time of Brexit. Make sure you have both EHIC and travel insurance before travelling. Many insurers will ask you to get your EHIC if travelling in Europe, and would waive the excess if you have a valid card with you.
Compare best family travel insurances
Finding good and cheap travel insurance for family is always a challenge. To make you save time and money, we've come up with a selection of insurers you could apply for your eyes closed:
|Travel insurer||Travel insurance price||Our reviews||See insurer offer|
*Quotes above are for a family of 4 people (2 adults of 50 + 2 children under 18) going for a 7 days single trip to Europe.
Even better, use our comparison tool to find the best deal for you! At Safe, we’ve checked out hundreds of travel insurance providers and we are now able to allow you to compare dozens of holiday insurance deals in only a few seconds without giving any personal details.
Should I choose single trip or annual family travel insurance?
There is no straight answer to this question. The best way to find out is to get both single and annual family travel insurance quotes and to make up your own mind.
If you are going away with your family once or twice a year, applying for a single trip travel insurance policy for your family might be the best option in terms of value for money.
However, if you are planning regular trips because one of your children is studying abroad for instance, and you’d like to visit him during Christmas, easter and summer holidays, then you might rather go for an annual holiday travel insurance to get comprehensive cover for the whole family.
Applying for annual family travel insurance might give you access to more benefits during the year for example: free cover for kids under 18 or cover for any member of the family travelling alone.
As a reminder:
|Travel insurance type||Explanation|
|Single trip family travel insurance||These travel insurance policies are for one-off holidays. |
You will be covered from the start of the journey until the end.
You can decide the number of days you want to be covered for.
There is usually a limit of both a maximum number of days days you can travel per trip as well as an upper age limit.
|Annual multi-trip family insurance||These policies are made for frequent travellers going away for family holidays several times a year. |
You would need to check whether it is more competitive to buy two or three single trip insurance policies or an annual multi-trip policy.
Always remember to check limits and excess amounts, maximum number of days per trip and exclusions in an insurer’s policy terms and conditions booklet.
What should your family travel insurance cover?
Each family travel insurance policy is different, since it is the insurer who determines the content of the contracts it offers: guarantees, compensation limits, deductibles, travel insurance prices, etc.
However, all family travel insurance contracts must include at least the following guarantees, applicable in Europe or worldwide, for all individuals mentioned on the policy:
- Medical expenses: compensation of any medical expenses during your family stay (consultation, analysis, emergency treatment, longer hospital stay, etc.)
- Repatriation assistance to the UK: financial and logistical support by a dedicated 24/7 team for your early return to your country of residence if necessary
- Trip cancellation and cover for delayed or missed departure: compensation if you need to cancel your trip for whatever reason or if you missed your departure
- Personal liability: compensation for any damage or injury made to a third party
- Baggage: compensation for any lost or theft of baggage while travelling
Most of the time, travel insurers offer different formulas. Cover types involved are usually the same but the compensation limits and deductibles vary.
When applying for holiday insurance for family, you should pay close attention to:
|Compensation||Average amount||Good to check|
|Medical expenses compensation amount||From £5M to £10M |
(depending on your medical situation and your destination)
|Repatriation compensation amount||Real fees|
|Trip cancellation / curtailment||£10 000 |
(depending on your destination)
|Baggage||Minimum of £1500 limit|
|Missed departure, delay||Minimum £500 limit (minimum £200 limit for delay)|
|Personal liability||Average £2M limit|
|Legal expenses||Average £15000 limit|
What are the should-have features for your family travel insurance?
Maybe you would also like to be covered with nice-to-have protection add-ons while travelling. Here are some examples below:
|Compensation||Average amount||What you should particularly pay attention to|
|Money and cash||Minimum £500 for money |
(pre-paid tickets, travellers cheque etc.)
Minimum £200 for cash
|Dental emergency||Minimum £250|
|Loss of passport or documentation||Minimum £250|
What are the extras you may choose for family holiday insurance?
|Sports cover||Extra cover for activities such as winter sports.|
|Gadget cover||Extra cover for smartphones, laptops, cameras, GoPro that you may have to record your family holidays.|
|Cruise gear cover||Extra cover for your family cruise gear travel.|
|Additional trip cancellation cover for family||Higher compensation limit if you need to cancel your family trip because of medical reasons, bereavement etc.|
|Additional personal belongings cover for family||Higher compensation limit to safely protect all your family belongings.|
Can I buy worldwide or europe family travel insurance?
After you’ve made your choice between single or annual family travel insurance, you will also need to indicate the destination you’d like to reach for your family holidays. Usually, insurers split destinations between 4 main groups:
- Wolrdwide excluding the USA, Canada, Caribbean and Mexico
- Australia and New-Zealand
Note that applying for USA family travel insurance from UK will of course cost you more than a family european trip. Flights are more expensive, healthcare costs out there are prohibitive. Insurers will therefore make you pay higher to provide you with the same level of cover than in Europe.
What are the benefits of family holiday insurance?
Adding several names to the same insurance contract allows you to benefit from certain advantages.
First of all, you will have the possibility of having only one policy for all the members of your family, and therefore one contact, one renewal date etc.
But you can also take advantage of:
- free cover for under 18 children
- the possibility to be covered whilst travelling individually
- family discounts
- higher compensation amounts for same deductibles to be paid.
Does travel insurance for family cover individuals travelling alone?
If you applied for an annual family travel insurance, you may ask yourself the question: is my family covered while travelling independently?
Providing all family members are named on the family holiday insurance policy, most insurers will cover:
- adult travelling alone (as long as they are 19 or above)
- children of 18 or under preventing they are accompanied by one adult parent (not necessarely named on the policy)
- unaccompanied child are usually not covered (unless agreed with insurer)
- children on schooltrips may be covered (to be discussed with insurer).
This only applies to annual family travel insurance and may vary from one insurer to another. Carefully check before getting quote.
How much is family travel insurance?
The table below shows indicative quotes for family applying for travel insurance policies:
|Age range||Single trip|
USA - 7 days*
Europe - 7 days*
|Family of one adult + one child||£34,45||£16,02||£59,05|
|Family of 2 adults + 2 children||£45,17||£21,03||£77,42|
It is, however, quite difficult to give precise ranges of how much a travel insurance will cost for you as prices are based on a wide range of criteria. It will mainly depend on:
- If you’re going for a single or annual multi-trips as mentioned above
- If you’re subscribing to upgrades such as cruise, activities or gadget cover
- If one of the travellers have pre-existing medical conditions
- The duration and destination of your stay
- The financial limits you’d like to get in case of a claim
- The excess amount you’re willing to pay
- What you will be doing abroad.
What about pre-existing medical conditions for family travel insurances?
As well as for any other type of travel insurance, you are required by law to declare any pre-existing medical condition of a named travellers when purchasing travel insurance.
Not disclosing medical condition could invalidate future claims as well as your entire travel insurance policy.
Get to know more on travel insurance and pre-existing medical condition here.
A pre-existing medical condition is typically one for which you have been diagnosed and have received treatment before you apply for any travel insurance policy, regardless of whether this is short- or long-term. Here is a list of most common pre-existing medical conditions you may also need to declare:
- Diabetes (with insulin injections)
- Heart-related conditions (stroke, cardiomyopathy, etc.)
- Any respiratory illness (lung problems, asthma)
- Blood-circulatory conditions (high-blood pressure, high cholesterol)
- Any mental or physical disability (depression, etc.)
- Any neurological problem (e.g. Alzheimer’s)
- Any treatment related to cancer care
- Any allergies
- Crohn’s disease
- Hernia conditions, etc.
The exact definition of what counts as a pre-existing medical condition and what needs medical screening may vary from one insurer to another. Carefully check our reviews as well as insurers’ policy booklets to be sure your medical condition is well covered.
Note that, in case of chronicle disease, any named travellers on the holiday insurance must travel with GP consent.
What does family travel insurance not cover?
Most travel insurers will not give financial compensation for:
- Any claim made as a result of a pre-existing medical condition or pending diagnosis undeclared at the time of purchase
- Any claim made as a result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Difficulties due to natural disaster, war, civil unrest (look out for strikes)
- Any claim made as a result of a terrorist act (except if you took out this cover as an option)
- Any claim made as a result of extreme sport practice not disclosed at the time of applying.
We would strongly advise you to carefully check your policy booklet for the main exclusions before leaving home with your spouse and children.
What else should you pay attention to while shopping around for family travel insurance?
While shopping around for holiday insurance for family, always pay attention to:
- The upper age limit of the policy you applied for.
- The compensation amount you will get in case of a claim (especially for medical expenses, trip cancellation, personal liability, baggage and personal belongings).
- The deductible amounts you’ll have to pay in case of a claim (don’t forget that you need to pay the excess on each claim).
- The exclusions you may have in your policy (sports, strike, cancellation trip due to carrier default, etc.).
- Coverage included in policies or available as upgrades (winter sports, business trip, etc.).
- The claim process (100% online? How many days do you have to make a claim?).
- The maximum duration of each trip included as standard (at least 31 days).
Never forget to disclose any pre-existing medical condition you may have to your insurer before leaving.