Bonus Journeys is back

When holidaymaker Michael Doyle contracted blood poisoning in Bulgaria in July, his family attempted to arrange a medical flight to bring him back to the UK. But his travel insurers refused to pay for the flight or medical bills, saying that his policy didn't cover him – and three weeks later, Doyle died from kidney failure.

How do you find the best-value travel insurance policy? Easy, you might think. Just go to a price-comparison website and buy the cheapest. But there is a catch. Price-comparison sites seem to be having an interesting effect. Because they are so powerful and used by so many people, there is intense competition among companies to keep the price of their products and services as low as possible to try to ensure that they appear near the top of the results.

Book independently

Another point to bear in mind about insurance is that travellers have different needs, depending not only on their age, but also on the value of their luggage, the type of travelling they do (there are endless exclusions and limitations relating to outdoor activities), how often they like to travel, how risk-averse they are and so on. In the case of skiers and snowboarders, there are other things to think about.

Time your stay

Multi-trip policies cover all the travelling you do in a calendar year, with limits on the length of each trip. Whether it is cheaper to buy one of these than separate policies for each trip depends how much travelling you do in a year – three or four trips will usually mean you save with multi-trip cover. The other huge advantage of a multi-trip policy is that you are covered continuously and don’t have to shop for a new policy each time you book. I chose worldwide cover including the United States and Canada. Europe only, or worldwide without North America would have been cheaper.

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