Cheap group travel insurance

When you’re holidaying with a group of friends, is it sensible to get group travel insurance or should you each get individual cover? We look at the pros and cons to help you decide.

When you’re holidaying with a group of friends, is it sensible to get group travel insurance or should you each get individual cover? We look at the pros and cons to help you decide.

Josh Daniels
Travel Insurance expert
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Last Updated 27 MAY 2022

What is group travel insurance?

Group travel insurance covers a collection of individuals who are travelling together. This means everyone in the group can be covered on the same insurance policy, which could simplify your paperwork.

Like standalone travel insurance, it gives you financial protection in case of medical emergencies abroad, plus a host of other unforeseen events, from holiday cancellation to lost baggage.

Policies can cover all types of groups, including friends, families, sports teams and social clubs, which is why group travel insurance is a common choice for many people.

But it’s not always the right choice. Our guide should help you to choose the right policy.

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 any claim you make 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.

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. For example:

  • It can be simpler and less stressful to have only one set of insurance. You only have to buy one policy, and you can often all claim together if something happens.
  • It can be a cheaper option, and insurance providers may throw in extras like sports cover. Cheap group travel insurance isn’t guaranteed to offer the best price or the best cover, though, so always compare your options.
  • If someone in the group falls ill, group travel insurance will often allow everyone to cancel the trip. This might be more difficult if you’re insured separately.

Why might you not choose group travel insurance?

In some cases, group travel insurance might not be right for your situation. 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 might even need specialist insurance. It could make getting travel insurance and splitting the bill very complicated.
  • If you’re getting separate flights, you may not all be covered under a group travel insurance policy – always check the policy details to make sure.
  • If you’ll be going on other trips in the same year, separately from the group, it might be cheaper overall to get an annual multi-trip policy or you may already have travel insurance packaged in with your bank account, for example.
  • If some of your party live in a different country from the rest, for example, a group of friends going to a wedding overseas and a couple of them live in the Republic of Ireland.

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

It depends on the insurance provider that you choose to cover you. With Compare the Market, you can search for cheap group travel insurance quotes covering up to 10 people. With extremely large groups, you may need a specialist insurance policy.

How does group travel insurance work? 

Overall, group travel insurance works very much like any other type of travel insurance – the only difference is that it covers a group of people travelling together. Everyone listed on the policy will be covered for certain events, typically cancellation, lost luggage, medical treatment overseas and emergency repatriation – the exact cover should be set out in your policy documentation.

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

For group cover, you should make sure you have enough cover for the highest possible claim you could make – for example, if everyone's luggage went missing or an accident meant you all had to be repatriated. Make sure the whole party know any single-item limits too – so they’re aware of the maximum that could be claimed for any one item.

If you’re booking your own group trip that isn’t ATOL protected as part of a package holiday, it’s especially important to make sure you have the right cover in case the travel company or airline goes bust.

You can find out more basic travel insurance information in our travel insurance guides.

What won’t group travel insurance cover?

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

  • 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 excessive drinking or drug use led to a claim, it’s likely to be rejected.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions – health issues, such as diabetes and heart conditions, must be declared when you take out insurance. Claims for treatment related to an undisclosed condition will be denied.
  • Extreme sports – group activities are great fun on holiday, but make sure you’re covered for everything you want to do. Standard travel insurance policies often won’t cover you for riskier activities like bungee jumping, jet skiing and white-water rafting, although some group policies will. You may need to pay a bit extra to add certain activities to your policy.

Is travel insurance cheaper for groups?

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

On the one hand, it’s in the insurance provider’s interest to offer cheap group travel insurance to a big group – they want your business.

On the other, the more people you have travelling together in a group, the higher the possibility that someone will make a claim. Some insurance providers may increase the overall policy excess with each additional traveller as the possibility of a loss increases. This could quickly mount up.

Always compare travel insurance to find a policy and a 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 premiums by:

  • Choosing a higher excess – increasing the amount you agree to pay towards a claim may reduce the cost of the policy. But you all need to be able to afford it if you make a claim.
  • Getting free child cover – you can often find deals where children under a certain age are included for free.
  • Shopping around – at Compare the Market, we can search a wide range of providers to find group travel insurance for up to 10 people.
  • Comparing cover – a group policy may not always be your best option, so be sure to compare the price of individual cover too to see if this gives you a better deal.

Frequently asked questions

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

Not necessarily – group travel insurance is for any group of people, and you don’t have to be related to get great group deals. You just need to be travelling together. Children can be included on a group policy too.

What level of group travel cover do I need?

Ideally, you should look for policies with £2 million of medical cover for Europe and £5 million for worldwide. That’s for each person, not the group as a whole. Cancellation cover should be at least as much as you’ve paid for the holiday, and make sure you have enough cover for the highest claim there could be. You should also check the cover limits for your baggage and personal belongings so you won’t be left out of pocket if they get lost, stolen or damaged.

Do we need group travel insurance if we have GHICs?

If you’re visiting an EU country, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives you access to state provided medical care for the same cost as a local resident if you need it. But while this gives you some protection, it’s not a replacement for travel insurance. It’s always best to have both. If some 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 providers will let you add people on to your group policy before the start of your trip. That’s as long as you’re still within the maximum number of people allowed on one policy, and it’s likely to affect the price.

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