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Group travel insurance

Whether you’re holidaying with friends or planning a work trip, you could find that group travel insurance works out cheaper than individual cover. Here’s the lowdown on it.

Whether you’re holidaying with friends or planning a work trip, you could find that group travel insurance works out cheaper than individual cover. Here’s the lowdown on it.

Written by
Anna McEntee
Home, pet and travel insurance expert
Reviewed by
Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
Last Updated
26 MAY 2023
5 min read
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What is group travel insurance?

Group travel insurance offers financial protection for people travelling together. Like standalone travel insurance, it covers medical emergencies abroad as well as unforeseen events like holiday cancellation or lost baggage.

Group travel insurance policies can cover all types of groups, from friends and families to sports teams and social clubs.

How does group travel insurance work?

Group travel insurance works much like any other type of travel insurance. The only difference is that it covers a group travelling together.

Everyone listed on the policy will be covered for certain situations. These typically include cancellation, lost luggage, medical treatment overseas and emergency repatriation. You’ll find the exact details on your policy documents.

Make sure you have enough cover for the largest claim you could make – for example, if everyone’s luggage goes missing or an accident means you all have to be repatriated. Make sure the whole party knows any single-item limits, so they know the maximum they can claim for any one item.

If you’re booking your own trip that isn’t ATOL protected, it’s especially important to make sure you’re covered if the travel company or airline goes bust.

What won’t group travel insurance cover?

As with all travel insurance, there are exclusions to watch out for:

  • Alcohol or drug misuse – when you’re with friends, it’s normal to want to let your hair down. But if your insurance provider believes your claim resulted from excessive drinking or drug use, they’ll likely reject it. You’re also unlikely to be covered if a claim is the result of you breaking the law.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions that you haven’t told the insurance provider about. You must declare any health issues, such as diabetes or heart conditions, when you take out insurance. Your claim will be rejected if it relates to treatment for an undisclosed condition.
  • Extreme sports – make sure you’re covered if you want to try activities like bungee jumping, jet skiing or white-water rafting. You may need to pay a bit extra to add certain activities to your policy.

How many people do you need for group travel insurance cover?

How many people you need for group travel insurance will depends on the insurance provider. With Compare the Market, you can search for cheap group travel insurance quotes covering up to 10 people. With very large groups, you might need a specialist policy.

You all need to be happy with the level of cover and excess. This is how much you agree to pay towards any claim you make.

Why choose group travel insurance?

Whether you’re planning a girls’ getaway to Greece or a sports tour of the USA, there are many benefits of group travel insurance.

  • It can be easier and less stressful to have only one set of documents. That way you only have to buy one policy and you can claim together if something happens.
  • It could be cheaper and insurance providers may throw in extras like sports cover.  But holiday insurance for groups isn’t guaranteed to offer the best price or cover though, so compare your options.
  • If someone in the group falls ill, group travel insurance often allows everyone to cancel the trip. This could be trickier if you’re insured separately.

What are the downsides to group travel insurance?

In some cases, a group insurance policy might not be right for you. For example:

  • If one of you has a pre-existing medical condition or is significantly older than the rest, they will cost more to insure and may even need specialist insurance. This could make getting travel insurance and splitting the bill complicated.
  • If you’re taking separate flights, you might not all be covered under a group travel insurance policy. Always check the policy to make sure.
  • If you’re planning other trips that year, away from the group, it might be cheaper to buy an annual multi-trip policy. Or you may find you have travel insurance packaged with your bank account, for example.
  • If some of your party live in another country.

Customers with pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, your travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. Whatever happens, don’t lie to an insurance provider, because this could mean your claim is rejected. When you declare any medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show you quotes from insurance providers who will cover them, with no exclusions.

If your condition is more serious, MoneyHelper has a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone. You can call them on 0800 138 7777.

Is travel insurance cheaper for groups?

Group travel insurance could be cheaper than individual cover – but not always. Prices vary depending on the insurance provider, the size of your group and a whole host of other factors.

On one hand, it’s in the insurance provider’s interest to offer cheap group travel insurance – they want your business. On the other, the more people who travel together, the higher the possibility of a claim.

Some insurance providers increase the excess with each additional traveller, which can quickly mount up. Always compare travel insurance to find a policy and price that’s right for you.

How can I reduce the cost of group travel insurance?

You might be able to save money on your group travel insurance by:

  • Choosing a higher excess – increasing the amount you pay towards a claim may mean a cheaper policy. But make sure you can afford the excess if you need to claim.
  • Getting free child cover – sometimes children under a certain age are included free.
  • Shopping around – at Compare the Market, we can search a range of providers to find group travel insurance for up to 10 people.
  • Comparing cover – a group policy might not always be your best option, so compare individual cover too to make sure you get the right deal.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have to be related to get cheap group travel insurance?

You don’t need to be related to get group travel insurance – you just need to be travelling together. You can include children on a group policy, too.

What level of group travel cover do I need?

Look for group travel insurance policies with at least £2 million of medical cover for Europe and £5 million worldwide. That’s for each person, not the group as a whole.

Cancellation cover should be at least as much as you paid for the holiday, and make sure you’ve enough protection to cover the highest possible claim.

Check the cover limits for baggage and personal belongings, too. That way you won’t be left out of pocket if they’re lost, stolen or damaged.

Do we need group travel insurance if we have GHICs?

Even if each of your group has a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) you’ll still need travel insurance.

If you’re visiting an EU country, the GHIC gives you access to the same state medical care a local resident would receive. While this gives you some protection, it’s not a replacement for travel insurance.

It’s always best to have both. If members of your group have EHICs instead of GHICs, that’s fine as long as they’re still valid.

Can I add friends to my group travel policy after my cover has started?

If someone else wants to tag along, some insurance providers let you add people to your group policy before your trip begins. That’s as long as you’re within the maximum number of people allowed on the policy. You may also find it affects the price.

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Anna McEntee - Insurance expert

Anna’s all about delivering fantastic insurance products at a great price. Value is the most important thing for Anna, as she cuts through the jargon and finds what’s most important and worth your hard-earned money.

Learn more about Anna

Rebecca Goodman - personal finance expert

Rebecca Goodman is a freelance financial journalist who specialises in insurance, personal finance and consumer affairs. Rebecca regularly writes for national newspapers including The Independent and The Mail on Sunday on a wide-range of financial topics. She covers everything from money-saving tips and holiday advice to investigations into how energy efficient appliances can cut the cost of household bills and the impact donating money can have on those in need. Along with features in national papers, Rebecca also writes news stories for websites including Yourmoney.com and The Money Edit.

Learn more about Rebecca

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