Hopefully you will have read my recent piece on hiking holidays and travel insurance . It was such a co-incidence that a week after I wrote the article, one of my friends told me about a company called Alpha Travel Insurance.
She took out a policy with them a while ago and thought they were very helpful and the travel insurance easy to understand. Not being an expert in insurance matters, I decided to visit the website and see for myself.
Alpha Insurance do things a little different to other travel insurance companies. Instead of a multitude of different policies to choose from, they offer one policy, with set levels of cover, but you have the option to choose the amount of excess, anywhere from 250 pounds down to zero. Not only that, but the quotation system shows you all the excess options and the differences in premium. So if you are willing to take a potential hit on any claim, then the cost can be extremely cheap.
All the main areas appear to be covered
- Emergency Medical Expenses £10,000,000
- Cancellation £2,000 (not great for expensive holidays, but perfectly adequate for me!)
- Missed Departure £500
- Delay £160
- Personal Liability £2 Million
- Legal Advice £10,000
- Personal Accident £10,000
You also have the option to cover gadgets (phones, tablets i-pads etc) up to £1,000. Something that is becoming more and more of “a thing”, Financial Failure and Force Majeure. It seems that every month I read about a large company becoming insolvent or a unforeseen weather catastrophe, so this additional option may prove to be well worth the money.
For me, the most important aspect of travel insurance is to make sure that my backpacking adventures are fully covered.
Having checked the Alpha website, I can see that they cover 100 different activities as standard. This includes Trekking/Mountain Walking/Hiking/Rambling/Mountaineering in a group up to 1,000 metres as standard.
This can be increased in stages covering up to 2,000, 3,000, 4,000 5,000 and 6,000 metres, as long as you are in a group and subject to payment of an additional premium. Travelling in a group is sensible, in case there are any injuries, however as you know I do like to solo hike. Having checked the website, it clearly states, I would need to opt for activity pack seven which includes cover for solo climbing/mountaineering.
Whilst this adds to the cost, at least I know I am properly covered should anything happen!
To give you a rough idea, a female (lets say in her mid 30’s!!) spending two weeks solo hiking in Europe, including activity pack seven, covering gadgets, supplier failure and force majeure, would cost £82.55 with a zero excess or £65.55 with a £175 excess.
The website was easy to navigate around. I managed to find answers to several questions and was able to download the policy booklet before even obtaining any quotes. The quotation system itself was easy to complete. Alpha Insurance also offer the option of an annual policy (for those lucky enough to be going on more than one trip!), winter sports, and a long stay policy if you plan to spend any length of time abroad (a working holiday for example)
The only criticism (and only a very small one) I have is when you want to amend the details. You can’t make multiple changes without it taking you back to the main screen. I like the fact that you can see at a glance all the different excess options and the changes it makes to your premium. It would have been nice to be able to see the difference in cost/excess comparison when adding in the different activity options and gadget cover etc, but overall a good system to use.
As explained I have no experience of the company myself, but my friend has. A quick look at the Trust Pilot scores tells me their service is mostly excellent, always a good start!
For an expert opinion, I will refer to one of my favourite sites… That’s Insurance. You can read their review of Alpha’s travel insurance policies here. Having looked at all the options, I will definitely be getting quotes for my upcoming holidays, which you can also read about here!