COVID Travel Insurance: Making Sure You’re Covered – Video Interview with StaySure Founder Ryan Howsam

Over the last few months, we conducted surveys and held a number of focus groups to gauge peoples’ thoughts regarding future travel. We wanted to ensure that we were doing everything we could to make planning a holiday comfortable and fun again.

One of the main conversations we had was around the future of travel insurance – changes in policy offerings and cost – and how this would affect your holidays. So, Lorne Blyth (Founder of Flavours Holidays) spoke to Ryan Howsam (Founder and CEO of Staysure Travel Insurance) to discuss Covid travel insurance, and the future of travel.

Founded in 2004, Staysure believes that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing it right. Staysure focuses on ensuring their customers get the right cover to suit their needs and specialise in cover for people with pre-existing conditions.

Staysure now includes cover for the coronavirus in their travel insurance policies, at no extra cost. This includes cover for cancellation and repatriation, as well as emergency medical expenses.

Watch the video below to hear more about this from Staysure founder, Ryan Howsam.

What are the most important things to look for to make sure you’ve got a policy that will give you complete peace of mind?

We’ve led the market with Covid travel insurance cover, and I think we’ll probably lead the market by extending that to the cancellation piece in time. So, I think that it’s incredibly important – having a fully comprehensive policy, especially now. Staysure has policies to cover for UK, Europe or worldwide travel, as well as cover for pre-existing medical conditions and great options for over-50s insurance.

I think consumers need to be very, very wary. We are incredibly well priced, but sometimes you see pricing out there which is not justified. So you’ll have consumers going on to price comparison websites, for example, and there will be a company that you’ve not heard of, who have a very small operation and they really don’t care about the consumer in the way that we do. But when it really comes down to it, when you have to claim is the moment of truth.

I would say the biggest thing is to be very, very, very wary of the cheap price, because you’ve got to ask yourself the question, how can they be so much cheaper? It’s not that we’re making so much more money. It’s that we understand what it costs to medically cover somebody in the right way. And what I would say is if a policy is cheaper, how are they going to cope when there’s a problem? And the reality is we pay out millions and millions. So you might make a £10 or £15 pound policy saving, but the risk element is so much greater.

I think the biggest thing you need to be aware of is really, really check on the company. You’ll see from our Trustpilot reviews, we’ve got over 100,000 five star reviews. You know, we get those because we do things the right way. We really do genuinely put the customer at the forefront of what we do. And that’s the brand ethos – if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

Editor’s Note: To ensure you have complete peace of mind when travelling to Italy with us, Flavours has put together our Safety First campaign.

Will getting travel insurance for future holidays be very expensive and difficult?

We don’t know the real landscape of it yet, and, as a travel insurer, we have to make sure that the underwriting works. So it’s highly likely that prices will increase – it’s only logical if you think about it. But one of the things we’re saying to our customers is buy your travel insurance now because prices will increase. It’s inevitable that they’re going to increase. We’ve been very flexible in the way that we’re operating and we’ve really led the market. For example, one of the things we’ve done is we’ve offered 15 months for the price of 12 on an annual multi-trip policy, which gets you an extra three month window. We don’t know what disruption is going to happen in the future either, so if you’ve already got a policy with us, we will change dates.

StaySure has provided us with an exclusive discount code for our guests to use when purchasing travel insurance. Call Staysure on 0800 069 6138 and quote FLAV15 to take advantage of their offer.

How did you start a travel insurance company?

I had a travel-related business and I also had a two for one golf program, which I sold to Tesco Clubcard and so on. JJB Sport liked my two for one golf product I had, and they asked me if I could do golf insurance. I went and got some underwriting and managed to put a deal together. I had a travel-related business so I thought, why don’t I just change this travel technology into travel insurance? So that’s how I started. And that’s grown to be, by quite some margin, the market leader in travel insurance, not just in the demographic of people with medical conditions and the older consumer, but across the board, it’s miles bigger than anybody.

Lastly, have you got any holiday plans this year?

I’m fortunate that I’m in London sometimes, but I’m in southern Spain and Gibraltar, so I’ve just now got back here. I’m planning to go to either Lake Como or Lake Garda later this year, so I’m definitely travelling. I have a pre-existing medical condition as well, so I understand some of the concerns that people have.

The British are just so resilient, and I think if we’re safe, we wear a mask, we take hand gels, and we do the things that we need to do, we can be a little bit more careful. I don’t see why it’s any more risky being abroad as long as you check what the airline is doing and how they’re dealing with Covid. And as long as they’re being responsible, then I don’t think there’s any more risk than being at home.

If you’re looking for a chance to get away in 2020, make sure to check out our Late Availability page.

Our 4 Top Tips for Getting Covid Travel Cover

  1. Buy your travel insurance now to make sure you’re covered for your holidays. You’re also likely to get the best deal the further in advance you buy.
  2. Research your policy and make sure you know what is covered – it’s best to ensure you have a comprehensive policy.
  3. Check the trustworthiness of the insurance company by reading reviews on independent websites like Trustpilot.
  4. Follow the advice of the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) when planning your holiday. Your travel insurance will not be valid if the FCO or government says your destination country is not safe to travel to at the time of your holiday.

Now you know what to look for to get Covid travel insurance cover, it’s time to start planning your next holiday! Download our holiday brochure to find the perfect holiday for you.

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Flavours Blog

Italian food, lifestyle and culture blog – by the Flavours Holidays team.