Review: Alpha Travel Insurance

Dan Woolley By Dan Woolley

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 has an average score of 9.1 out of 10 from 4,236 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 – their various policies are available to different age groups, families and couples.

Because of Alpha’s experience in backpacker insurance they may be a good choice for younger or more active traveler, for example, gap year students, backpackers skiers or adventure holiday-makers.

They 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 they are still mainly targeting a younger age group.

Alpha also don’t provide cover for cruises, which again suggests that older customers may not be a priority for them.

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 18 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.

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, £1,500 for cancellation and £10 million for emergency medical treatment.

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

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

Alpha work 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 £100 excess.

The excess levels have simple names, if you want a £0 excess choose Alpha Zero, a £150 excess falls under the Alpha 150 policy, and so on. They use this system for all of their 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.

But to give you an indication, we obtained the following quotes from Alpha.

Longstay travel insurance, worldwide (including USA & Caribbean) for a 25-year-old

Excess of £250: policy cost = £162.52

Excess of £100: policy cost = £195

Excess of £0: policy cost = £270.84

Single trip to Europe, including Spain, for 2 weeks for a 30-year-old

Excess of £250: policy cost = £5.81

Excess of £100: policy cost = £6.97

Excess of £0: policy cost = £9.67

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 they have particularly competitive prices for skiers visiting resorts in the US and Canada.

Their 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?

In some cases, yes – although it isn’t immediately clear what conditions are covered. It seems fair to suggest that Alpha do not specialise in providing insurance for pre-existing medical conditions. This could relate to their choice to focus on a younger and more active breed of traveler.

Note that Alpha do NOT provide cover for mental health conditions. 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 4,236 customer reviews on Trustpilot, with an average score of 9.1/10.

What do expert reviews say?

Defaqto, an independent researcher of the comprehensiveness of financial products, rates almost all of Alpha’s policies 2 stars out of 5, which means each is "a product offering a limited range of features and benefits".

For providers with a higher Defaqto rating see our list of the 10 best travel insurance companies.

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