With or without the pandemic, finding great deals on travel insurance means knowing the protection you need and understanding excess. Planning to travel or has to travel because of the work demand, you may be looking at how to guard your trip. One way is with travel insurance.

When you start comparing plans, you will need some criteria to help you prioritize and narrow down your choices. Use a list of coverages that you think are the most important for your trip. You might also factor in minimum coverage amounts on certain coverages like medical expenses. There are also most popular coverages such as: Emergency Medical (at least $50,000), medical Evacuation (at least $100,000), pre-existing medical conditions, cancel for any reason, hazardous sports, bad weather, terrorism, missed flight connections and car rental coverage.

According to Moneysavingexpert.com, if you travel three times or more a year (or twice or more if one trip is to the US) then getting an annual policy that covers the entire year’s travel for one fee is likely to cost you less than buying separate single-trip policies. But note that annual policies won’t cover backpackers on extended trips: they usually cover trips up to a maximum of 31 days.

Many policies, particularly the cheapest, will not insure anyone aged over 65, however fit and active. Most standard policies will also not cover any pre-existing conditions. So, for example, if you are asthmatic and suffer an attack on holiday that requires medical treatment, your policy will not pay out. Tell your insurer about any ongoing medical conditions and answer questions honestly. Some insurers may then agree to cover certain conditions for a small extra premium or, if your condition warrants it, refer you to a specialist insurer.

If you tend to make your own flight and accommodation arrangements, rather than booking a package, it’s important your insurance includes scheduled airline and end-supplier failure cover, which protects you if an airline, villa company or ferry firm goes bust after you’ve booked your holiday. Note that even five-star policies may not cover airline failures. You should also check whether the plan also offers “cancel for any reason” coverage, which gives you the option to cancel and get some reimbursement no matter what the reason

Traveling to Europe? Get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which gives you access to state-provided healthcare, at a reduced cost or sometimes free, when temporarily visiting an EU country, and also Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Some travel insurance policies will waive the excess for medical claims if you use your EHIC to get medical treatment while travelling in the EU.