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Reviews > Travel Insurance > Columbus Direct

Columbus Direct Review

Columbus Direct Travel Insurance

Columbus Direct

Our review covers Columbus Direct Travel Insurance. Covering every type of policy from single trip to backpackers, summer sun and cruises to winter sports find out more about the wide range of customer Columbus appeal to.

Visit Columbus Direct

Columbus Direct are one of the UK's leading 'direct to the public' travel insurers, offering good quality and well priced holiday insurance.

They offer all the standard policies one would expect from a travel Insurer such as single or multi trips, but also a number of extensions not offered by all insurers.

Columbus Direct offer a wide range of travel insurance policies, from standard single or multi-trip policies to specialist cover for those going on winter sports holidays, backpacking, business trips, or adventuring holidays or for those looking to cover pre-existing medical conditions.

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What we like:

  • Includes Airline Failure Protection (on all policies except backpackers)
  • Specialist policies for backpackers, families and business travellers
  • Online medical screening for existing conditions
  • FREE health information and GP access with Babylon

What we are not so keen on

  • No details as which pre existing medical conditions can be covered free.
  • Some sports must be pre-declared - which could be restrictive for people who like to undertake activities on the spur of the moment

Single trip cover

Columbus Direct offer policies with an upper age limit of 85 and cover 80 activities and sports free of charge. However some do require an additional premium to be paid - including some you might undertake without thinking they were particularly extreme - a full list can be found via their website.

All of these additional activities need to be pre-declared - so no spur of the moment Deep Sea Fishing trip without a call to Columbus first!

Columbus Direct do not offer cover in a variety of countries, namely Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville.), Congo (Zaire), East Timor, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guinea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Liberia, Pakistan, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tajikistan, UK Cruise, Yemen, Zimbabwe. This list may change so do check that your destination is covered.

Annual (Multi trip) cover

Covering those up to 74 years old. Columbus Direct policies can cover trip lengths up to 60 days. Good sports coverage, but see comments above regarding single trip policies.

Winter Sports

17 days skiing covered p.a. Columbus Direct winter sports cover is fairly modest rather than outstanding and those owning their own equipment might find the cover lacking. Off piste cover is at the better end of the range. See more in our guides in our Ski section.

Backpacking Cover

Good cover for non - extreme sports and activities but none for manual work. More extreme activities need covering separately and oddly you need to specify which activities will be undertaken individually before taking the insurance. This could be restrictive if an opportunity arose to undertake something not pre-declared. No particular age restrictions.

Business Cover

Columbus has an excellent travel insurance policy designed for those who regularly travel on business. It's an annual travel policy which adds cover for specified business equipment such as laptops, as well as allowing you to send a replacement business colleague to an overseas meeting if you cannot make it for reasons covered by the policy.

Volcanic Ash Cover

Following the 2011 eruptions in Iceland Columbus led the way in developing policies which would provide cover in the case of airline or airport disruption following an volcanic eruption. Anyone covered on your policy can be covered for a small additional premium for Travel Delay, Trip Abandonment and Missed Departure resulting from of volcanic ash. Gold policies also provide the option to add an Emergency Travel Upgrade that gives additional cover in the event of any unforeseen circumstances preventing your return home.

Pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a medical condition to declare Columbus Direct can help. They provide an online quotation and medical screening process enabling customers with pre-existing conditions to quickly arrange for travel insurance. Their medical screening system can cover more than 250 medical conditions, many at no extra cost and, if they can cover your specific medical condition(s), you will be given the price instantly, allowing you to buy your travel insurance immediately.

Travelling whilst Pregnant

Columbus Direct offer cancellation cover for a person covered by the policy if they discovered they would be due to give birth within 12 weeks (16 weeks if a multiple birth) of booked return date. Obviously this only applies if the holiday was booked or the policy taken out before you knew about the pregnancy! They also are specific in mentioning that they do not provide cover for complications in pregnancy if there have been any complications with this or any previous pregnancy - full definition on the Columbus Direct website

This content was last reviewed on 09/10/2023