Review: Alpha Travel Insurance

Alpha's key policy features

  • Alpha Travel Insurance can be good for backpackers, gap year students and adventure travelers
  • Its excess policy and add-on packages are easy to understand
  • Alpha is also popular with skiers and snowboarders

Overview of Alpha Travel Insurance

Alpha offers straightforward, low-cost travel insurance from £2.83 per trip, and at the time of writing has an average score of 9.0 out of 10 from over 9,000 reviews on Trustpilot. There is currently a 15% discount when you apply online on the Alpha Travel Insurance website. Find out how Alpha compares with other providers using our guide to the 10 best travel insurance companies.

Overview of Alpha Travel Insurance

The Alpha Travel Insurance brand launched in October 2012 and was predominantly aimed at backpackers.

The products now offered by Alpha are not exclusively for the backpacker market – the company's policies are available to different age groups, families and couples. Because of Alpha’s experience in backpacker insurance, it may be a good choice for younger or more active traveller; for example, gap year students, backpackers, skiers or adventure holiday-makers. The company have also written a lot of useful content for this audience, including travel tips and guides to certain countries. The look and feel of Alpha’s website also suggests it is still mainly targeting a younger age group.

Click on the link to learn more about what backpacker insurance really covers. We've also written a guide to comparing backpacker insurance policies.

What kind of policies does Alpha Travel Insurance offer?

Alpha offer 4 types of policy: Single-Trip, Multi-Trip, Longstay and Winter Sports.

Alpha’s Longstay policy is designed to cover long periods abroad (rather than multiple short trips, which are covered by annual multi-trip policies). The Alpha Longstay travel insurance policy is unusual in that it can also provide cover for up to 24 months (which is why the term ‘annual’ would be misleading) and is useful for those planning on working abroad, studying or taking a gap year. Alpha's Longstay policy will cover 2 return home trips during the policy, each trip can be no longer than 21 days

An interesting point of difference with Alpha is that they don’t offer varying levels of cover within their policies. This is unusual because most insurers offer a range of options from ‘basic’ to ‘premium’, and there will be several differences between the two in terms of what is covered and the maximum amount that can be claimed against the policy.

For example, Staysure offers two versions of their single trip policy – Basic (baggage claim cover = £200, holiday cancellation = not covered) and Comprehensive (baggage claim cover = £2,000, holiday cancellation = up to £5,000).

All of Alpha's Single-Trip policies include up to £1,500 for personal possessions, £2,000 for cancellation and £10 million for emergency medical treatment.

It also provides cover for cruises, which can be included with its cruise add-on option.

See how that compares with other providers with our travel insurance reviews.

What affects the price of a travel insurance policy with Alpha?

Alpha works on a different system to most travel insurance companies. First, all of its policies provide the same levels of cover. The second difference is you are asked to choose how much excess you are willing to pay (in the event of a claim). You can choose to have as little as £0 and as much as £175 excess.

The excess levels have simple names: if you want a £0 excess choose Alpha Zero, if you want a £150 excess choose the Alpha 150 policy, and so on. The company uses this system for all of its policies, including winter sports. If you want to add any activities that are not covered by a policy as standard, such as sky diving or using a snowcat, you can buy an activity pack. Longstay policies have four activity packs to choose from and all other policies have eight. You should be able to find most sports and adventure activities in them.

How much does Travel insurance from Alpha cost?

With all travel insurance companies, the cost of a policy can vary widely depending on a number of factors, such as the number of people travelling, their age, the destination of travel and the duration of stay. And remember that the cost of your Alpha policy will depend on the amount of excess you choose.

Alpha quotes the following prices on their site:

Single Trip from £6.53, based on 5 days in Europe for a 20 year old adult

Backpacker/Longstay from £29.87, based on 3 months in Europe for a 20 year old adult

Family from £14.11, based on 5 days in Europe 2 adults aged 20 and a child under 18

Does Alpha offer travel insurance for skiing holidays and winter sports?

Yes, Alpha is a popular choice for skiers. Research by the Guardian in 2014 found that the company have particularly competitive prices for skiers visiting resorts in the US and Canada.

The company's cover includes off-piste skiing and snowboarding as standard and snowpark cover can be added as part of an optional package at an additional cost. Other winter sports activities such as heliskiing and snow kiting can be added as part of the activity packs. Read our guide to off-piste ski insurance here, where you will also find a link to reviews of other providers.

Does Alpha offer travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions?

Alpha offers cover for medical conditions via the company's online Protectif screening process.

It also provides cover for people with depression. This depends on the severity of the condition, the medication the customer is on, when the diagnosis was made and how their condition is monitored.

You can read our guide to learn about getting travel insurance for people with depression here.

What do Alpha Travel Insurance customer reviews say?

Alpha also uses the independent Trustpilot review service. At the time of writing, they have received over 8,260 customer reviews on Trustpilot, with an average score of 9.1 out of 10.

Special thanks to @benmooe who recommended @alphatravelins. They cost me £38 instead of over £100 like every other company who quoted me!— Gary C (@oohgaryc) November 29, 2015

What do expert reviews say?

Alpha’s Zero XS Multi-Trip Insurance and its Zero XS WS Multip-Trip policies have been awarded a 4 Star rating from the independent financial review service Defaqto. All its other policies have been awarded a 3 Star rating.

A Star rating indicates where a product sits on the market based on the quality and comprehensiveness of its features.

A 4 Star rating indicates a product with "a good range of features", and a 3 Star rating indicates “a standard product” which provides “an average level of features and benefits".

This article was written by Bought By Many. We were not paid to write it but we will receive commission if clicking on a link to one of the named insurers results in a reader taking out a policy with that insurer. We also charge for advertising space so a particular insurer may be highlighted in the article and, where insurers are listed, it can dictate where they appear in the list.