Group travels are very popular but can easily turn into a nightmare if you, and the other member of the group are not properly covered for travel.
You would like to travel with your friends with complete peace of mind and get covered for any medical expenses or trip cancellation?
Then you should apply for group holidays insurance.
In the below article, we will tell you everything you need to know about group travel insurance: which cover you should go for, insurers, prices, contacts and tips.
Table of Contents
What is group travel insurance?
Finding a good comprehensive travel insurance, although not compulsory, is vital if you are planning to travel with a group of friends abroad. However, buying a single trip travel insurance for each of you you might quickly be prohibitive and not very efficient. This is why you should definitely get a more budget-friendly group travel insurance.
Group travel insurance aims at covering a group of people (usually up to 10 persons) travelling abroad together. Unlike family travel insurance, group travel insurances are tailor-made for groups of friends, not necessarily extended family, wishing to travel together in a foreign country at the same time (for a wedding, for a winter sport week or for any other kind of trip).
There is usually no other conditions than just being a group travelling together at the same place to qualify for a travel insurance for groups. However always remember that:
- insurers have age restrictions limit. All members of the group must respect those limits.
- you may not be able to get cover for people living if you are not travelling from and returning to the UK.
- insurers often not cover a group of people taking different flights.
Group holidays insurance usually cover the same as standard individual travel insurance except that the policy is for a larger number of persons.
If you are planning to go on a sport group travel insurance including extreme activities (rock-climbing, scuba diving etc.), make sure you are well covered for those specific activities too in your group insurance policy. You may have to pay an extra premium as well as an extra medical excess in case you make a claim.
Why do I need group travel insurance?
A comprehensive group travel insurance covers you in the event of a mishap encountered anywhere abroad. In fact, you, or your travel group, 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 group 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|
|One of my friend got injured whilst travelling and needs surgery abroad||£42 000||£0|
in public hospitals only
until medical limit is reached
|Someone of the group needs to be repatriated to the UK||£31 000||£31 000||£0|
most often real fees
|We need to cancel our group trip for medical reasons||£30 000||£30 000||£0|
until trip cancellation / interruption limit is reached
|Half of the group baggages have been damaged during the flight||£5000||£5000||£0|
until personal belongings limit is reached
Applying for group 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 group 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 travel group 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 group travel insurances
Finding good and cheap travel insurance for group 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 8 people group of 30 years old going for 7 days 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 group travel insurance?
There is no straight answer to this question. The best way to find out is to get both single and annual group travel insurance quotes and to make up your own mind.
If you are going away, travelling with a group, 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 with the same group, then you might rather go for an annual holiday travel insurance to get comprehensive cover for the whole group. That would be useful for example if you are a group of uni friends, having same holiday schedules and wishing to discover europe together.
Applying for annual group travel insurance might give you access to more benefits during the year for example the possibility to get covered also if the member of the group travel independently.
As a reminder:
|Travel insurance type||Explanation|
|Single trip group 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 group insurance||These policies are made for frequent travellers going away for group 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 group travel insurance cover?
Each group 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 group 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 group 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 group, 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 group 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 group 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 group holidays.|
|Cruise gear cover||Extra cover for your group cruise gear travel.|
|Additional trip cancellation cover for group||Higher compensation limit if you need to cancel your group trip because of medical reasons, bereavement etc.|
|Additional personal belongings cover for group||Higher compensation limit to safely protect all your group belongings.|
Can I buy worldwide or europe group travel insurance?
After you’ve made your choice between single or annual group travel insurance, you will also need to indicate the destination you’d like to reach for your group holidays. Usually, insurers split destinations between 4 main destination groups:
- Wolrdwide excluding the USA, Canada, Caribbean and Mexico
- Australia and New-Zealand
Note that applying for USA or worldwide group travel insurance from UK will of course cost you get quote for europe group travel insurance. 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 group 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 travelling group, and therefore one contact, one renewal date etc.
But you can also take advantage of:
- the possibility to be covered whilst travelling individually
- group discounts
- higher compensation amounts for same deductibles to be paid
- free cover for kids under 18.
Apart from insurance quotes, groups travels should help you benefit from cheaper group holidays deals with discounted group flights and group booking holiday packages (ClubMed etc).
Holiday packages are usually covered by the UK financial scheme Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) aiming to protect holiday makers. If something goes wrong and if your package holiday is cancelled for example, you might not need to make a claim as long as you’ve booked through ATOL’s holiday makers and therefore are protected by ATOL protection holder. Make sure you see the ATOL’s logo while booking a group holiday package online.
Does travel insurance for group cover individuals travelling alone?
If you applied for an annual group travel insurance, you may ask yourself the question: am I covered if I travel alone, independently from the rest of the group?
Yes, you should.
Usually, for annual group travel insurances, companies also 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)
This only applies to annual group travel insurance and may vary from one insurer to another. Carefully check before getting quote.
How much is group travel insurance?
The table below shows indicative quotes for group applying for travel insurance policies:
|Age range||Single trip|
USA – 7 days*
Europe – 7 days*
|Group of 4 persons of 30 years old||£94,01||£28,49||£131,23|
|Group of 8 people of 60 years old||£270,26||£81,90||£328,07|
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 group 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 group 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 travel group.
What else should you pay attention to while shopping around for group travel insurance?
While shopping around for holiday insurance for group, 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.