What is family travel insurance?
A family travel insurance policy typically covers one or two adults who live at the same address, plus at least one child (up to a maximum of eight children) aged 18 or under who permanently lives with you.
Regardless of how your family is made up, always read the policy details carefully. Some policies may not cover family members who are travelling separately or children accompanied by a non-family member. And check what the policy says about children who don’t permanently live with you, such as stepchildren.
From 17 May 2021, a travel traffic light system has been introduced and trips to green listed countries will be 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 local authority, which can be found here.
If a country is on the green 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're aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and to check travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed at short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice for the latest information.
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to most amber and red listed countries. Should you choose to travel against the FCDO rules, you will not be covered by any travel insurance policy you purchase. Some providers do offer cover for international travel if you’re travelling for essential purposes, however most do not. In all cases, 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.Find out more here
Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions
Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has launched a directory of insurance providers on its Money Advice Service website that may be able to provide quotes over the phone, if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.
What are the benefits of buying family travel insurance?
Family travel insurance could be a great-value option for you. It’s also simple – one policy that will cover the whole family is easier than buying individual policies for each family member.
If you buy family travel insurance you may also get:
- Extras: your policy may give you higher levels of baggage cover, alternative accommodation and increased cancellation cover
- A bonus: annual policy purchasers are sometimes allowed to travel without the kids within the year
- Free cover: some insurance providers offer free cover for children
What does family travel insurance cover?
Family travel insurance will provide you and your children with cover for:
- Lost luggage
- Cancelled holidays
- Any medical care you or your family might need when abroad.
If you don’t have insurance and you or a member of your family falls ill or has an accident, you’ll be expected to pay for the cost of treatment yourself – and healthcare costs abroad can spiral out of control.
For example, according to the Association of British Insurers, when a 12-year-old girl caught pneumonia on a school trip it cost £32,000 to pay for a four-day hospital stay to treat her.
Today, the average medical claim is £1,300, while the average cost of annual cost travel insurance policy is £37.
What types of family travel insurance are there?
You can choose annual family travel insurance to cover you and your children if you're going on more than one holiday, or pick a single trip policy to cover one break.
You can also choose a policy based on where you’re going:
- UK cover
- European cover
- Worldwide cover
Frequently asked questions
Is there anything to consider with family travel insurance?
When it comes to travel insurance for your family you need to consider the following three things:
- If you have one child, getting a couple’s policy and an individual policy for your child may be cheaper than a family travel insurance policy
- Sometimes you can invalidate your family cover if members travel independently or if someone not named on the policy travels with the kids
- Family cover will sometimes only cover children who permanently live at the same address as the policy holder
What other features should I look for in family travel cover?
All good family travel insurance policies will share certain ‘must-have’ features, including:
- Cancellation and curtailment – this could help if you need to cancel or cut short your holiday.
- Missed departure or delays – offers cover if your flights are delayed because of an insured event. You could also be compensated for any accommodation and additional travel expenses if you miss your departure because of an event out of your control. Policies differ, so check what’s covered.
- Stolen, lost or damaged luggage – ensure you’ve enough insurance to cover the cost of your luggage. Don’t underestimate how much you travel with, especially if you have children.
- Personal liability – this may cover the cost of any damage or injury you unwittingly cause while you’re away.
- Medical cover – your policy should cover you for medical emergencies, the cost of any treatment, overnight stays and repatriation. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)** is enough if you’re travelling to Europe. An EHIC will only provide you with the same care offered to locals.
**After Brexit, and the UK officially left the EU with a deal in place, things have changed. You won’t be able to apply for an EHIC anymore, but, if you have one already, issued before the end of 2020, then it’ll still be valid until the expiry date.
However, the UK government has introduced a replacement called the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). If you don’t have an EHIC, or once yours expires, you can apply for a GHIC here, and it should arrive within 10 days. The GHIC will offer the same cover as the EHIC did in EU countries.
Do I need to mention any pre-existing medical conditions?
It is always advised to disclose all medical conditions when looking to purchase a policy. You'll need to answer a few questions about your family's health, including details about pre-existing medical conditions, before you get a quote for family travel insurance.
Should I choose single trip or annual family travel insurance?
It depends on the types of trips, and how often you travel as a family. If you travel more than once a year, there’s every chance that an annual family travel insurance policy will be your best option.
There are some things to consider though. While you may travel more than once a year, are you all travelling together? To make it worthwhile, you should only take out an annual policy, if you’ll all be travelling together.
The type of trips you take will also come into consideration. If your trips vary between far-flung adventure holidays to weekend city breaks, the levels of insurance required will vary significantly. Therefore, you may be better off taking out single trip policies, just to cover you for what you need.
For example, an annual policy which covers you worldwide, will be much more expensive than a European exclusive policy. So, it’s important that you consider what you really need, before signing up for an annual policy.
Where can I compare family travel cover quotes?
We can help you find the right family travel cover policy for you and your family. Just give us a few details about your trip and the family members you want to cover and get a quote in minutes.