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With effect from 1 January 2009 the UK government decided to regulate the sale of travel insurance and small tour operators like us are no longer allowed to either sell or recommend insurance to our clients unless we agree to be tied to a specific insurer.

Since good cover is so important here are a few key questions to ask potential insurers:

  1. It is very important to be well covered, in particular against cancellation and medical expenses, with a reputable insurance company who offers a repatriation service.
  2. Make sure that you have cancellation cover sufficient to cover the whole cost of the trip.
  3. Items of a high individual value (such as photographic equipment) are normally best insured as part of the Worldwide All Risks section of your Household policy.
  4. Age limits can vary between policies so if you are over 65 it is worth shopping around.
  5. If you normally travel abroad more than twice a year then an Annual policy will almost certainly offer better value, quite apart from the convenience.
  6. Pay particular attention to any pre-existing medical conditions clauses: and remember that you should advise insurers if any person upon whom travel depends (such as a close relative) has a condition that might give rise to a cancellation. If in doubt ask before taking out the insurance.
  7. If you are hiring a car it may be useful to get a policy that includes excess waiver top-up - in some countries (e.g. Argentina, Chile) this is quite high and not possible to reduce via the car hire companies. Separate policies are available just for this.

Possible insurers

Campbell Irvine
A selection of annual and single-trip policies (maximum age 69 and quite low standard cancellation limits). They can quote for older travellers and to increase cancellation limits

Cover-More Insurance Services
More flexibility on ages and have options for higher-risk activities

A number of companies offer insurance to cover car hire excess charges, which can be useful in Latin America where in several countries (such as Chile and Argentina) quite large excesses can apply and cannot be topped-up locally. If you take one of these policies do check that it covers the type of vehicle you are hiring (some appear to have exclusions for pick-up trucks for example).


Please note that we do not specifically recommend or endorse any of the above policies or companies.

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