Should I compare travel insurance based on price?
The short answer: No. It’s about much more than price. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Is price important?
Of course price is important. But it’s not the only thing you need to think about when buying insurance. Because insurers price and perceive risk differently, their prices are different. It can be surprising how different they can be.
As an example, you can get a policy to Spain for the week for £5 or £50. The £50 policy probably has good cover from a good insurer (not always) but may also have things included that you don’t need. The £5 policy will likely have some very low limits and is likely from an insurer where you have less chance of getting your claim paid.
What else is important?
Ultimately, your cover is made up of over 20 individual cover limits (baggage, cancellation, gadgets, medical, dental, etc.) and usually 30+ pages of policy wording, making it almost impossible to compare ‘apples to apples’.
We think, the most important things to check when you’re buying a policy are:
- Medical: Anywhere between £5m (Europe) and £10m (Worldwide) is enough.
- Cancellation: The amount (e.g. £2,000) should cover the cost of your entire trip, because this is your cover when you can no longer go away because you broke your leg or something bad happens outside of your control. So think about the cost of your trip (flights, hotels, anything you can’t get refunded last minute).
- Baggage: This covers your stuff. Passport, luggage, clothes, cash and other valuables. The amount you choose here should be enough to cover the current value of everything you’re bringing with you.
- Gadgets: This is usually not included as standard and won’t be part of your baggage cover (because gadgets are usually very expensive). If your phone isn’t insured for travel already, make sure you get this added.
- Excess: This word means nothing to most people. An excess is the amount you contribute to any claim you make. A higher excess means you're less likely to claim for small stuff and you’ll contribute more, so your policy will be cheaper. A lower excess allows you to claim for smaller things, but the policy will be more expensive. So if your excess is £100 (pretty standard) and you claim £500 for some lost luggage, you will only get back up to £400 if your claim is approved.
This is everything you can easily see, the problem is in the stuff you can’t see, like all the fine print. So try to get your insurance off a reputable provider that has good ratings on their claims satisfaction - Trust Pilot, Defaqto, etc. At Pluto, this is why we partnered with Zurich, one of the largest insurers in Europe.
With Pluto, you can choose the cover that’s right for you, step by step, and select the right amount, so you pay a fair price.
The only way you will ever fully understand your policy is if you read the entire policy wording document, but we know this isn’t always realistic. That’s why at Pluto, we bring out all the key bits of information into simple summaries and tips whilst you’re buying, so you know what you’re getting. That just seems fair, doesn’t it?
Is there anything else to consider?
Yes, a few important, less tangible things to consider:
- Likelihood of a payout for your claim (cheaper policies, sometimes, will naturally have a lower rate of claim payouts, or make it more difficult to submit your claim). We partnered with Zurich because of their very high claims payout rate. In 2017, they paid out 99% of the claims they received!
- Ability to easily submit a claim (lots of providers don’t invest in services to make it easy for you to claim, and prefer it if you physically post forms and paper receipts). We built our claims service from the bottom up, so you can submit online, on your phone, wherever, whenever.
- Ease of use and understanding (some providers actually prefer it if you don’t fully understand your policy). Pluto prides itself on explaining your cover in plain English, hopefully, you’ve seen that if you’ve got this far.
- Social good of your insurer. We haven’t found any travel insurers that donate to a charity as part of your policy. We think it’s important to give back and reduce the negative impacts of travel.
That’s about it! We hope that was useful. Why not check get a Pluto quote now?