Compare travel insurance with no excess

When you make a claim on your travel insurance, it’s never nice to pay an excess. But do you have to? We look at travel insurance with no excess, and whether it’s an option you might consider.

When you make a claim on your travel insurance, it’s never nice to pay an excess. But do you have to? We look at travel insurance with no excess, and whether it’s an option you might consider.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
minute read
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Posted 18 NOVEMBER 2019

What is an excess?

‘Excess’, when we’re talking about any sort of insurance policy, means the amount of money you must contribute before your insurance provider will pay towards your claim. For example, if you have a £100 excess and claim £500 for your lost baggage, your insurance provider will reimburse you £400.


The travel traffic light system currently states that trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant government.

Please note: from 4am on 4 October 2021, the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries.

Currently, if your destination of choice is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and ensure travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed with short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red list countries. Most insurance policies purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the FCDO has instructed citizens not to travel to won’t be valid, however, some insurance providers may offer reduced cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes. Should you have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing, to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

So, can I get travel insurance with no excess?

Yes, you can. There are fewer policies available, but they do exist. Without an excess, you’ll receive back 100% of the money you’re claiming (up to the policy limit). It’s an extra level of reassurance if things go wrong.

What are the drawbacks to a policy with no excess?

  • They are more expensive: the lower the excess, typically the more expensive the cover – though depending on what insurance you’re buying, the difference in price may be quite small. Always compare travel insurance quotes before you choose
  • There is less choice of policies: it’s important to have travel insurance that suits your needs. For example, if you’re travelling light it could be a waste of money to pay for a policy with large amounts of baggage cover. If you only consider policies with no excess, you might find it harder to get the balance you want for other features

Only you can weigh up the pros and cons and decide what excess is right for your particular situation. Don’t just base your choice on excess - look at your policy’s Defaqto rating and its other features.

What do you need to think about if you do go for an excess?

When you buy travel insurance, the excess is one area where it’s worth reading the small print. Make sure you check the details before you buy.

Most importantly, check how often the excess will be charged. It might be:

  • per person: no matter how many claims an individual makes, they only pay the excess once
  • per incident: if you claimed for having your hand bag stolen and for a flight delay, you’d pay the excess on each claim
  • per policy section: if your handbag was stolen with your phone and £200 in it, you’d claim under the cash section and the personal belongings section of your policy – and pay the excess twice

As you can imagine, this makes a huge difference to the amount you could claim back. Remember, too, that group travel insurance policies usually charge excess per person, not just once for the whole group.

While the cost of the excess needs to be weighed against the cost of the claim, in the case of medical emergencies the benefits of travel insurance (even with an excess) are clear. The average cost of falling ill while abroad is £1,296. Extreme situations can stretch to tens or hundreds of thousands, so even with a £200 excess, travel insurance is very worthwhile.

Search for travel insurance with no excess

It’s easy to find travel insurance with no excess. Just compare travel insurance and select “no excess”. Once you’ve seen your options, you can change the filters and see what difference adding an excess will make to your quote.

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