The Travel Insurance Minefield
Travel insurance can be a minefield ready to trip the unwary. Which is the best travel insurance option for you? the first decision is between annual holiday insurance or single trip and it is important to understand the pros and cons for each.
A single trip policy covers only the one holiday and all the limits on cover apply to this single trip as do any restrictions applying to activities and health. It will be valid from the day you buy it until the day you return home. An annual holiday insurance or you may see it referred to as an annual multi trip policy lasts as the name suggests for a year from the day you decide you want it to start.
When buying an annual holiday insurance you will usually be asked when you want it to start. It is important to make sure that it starts to run before you are due to pay the final balance on your trip so that the cancellation cover is in force. As a rule, if you are planning to take two or more trips abroad within twelve months you may well find you get better value by selecting an annual holiday insurance. If you are not sure then check when you buy it if there is an option to upgrade your single trip policy to an annual holiday insurance at a later date. Many annual holiday insurance policies also include up to 17 days winter sports cover.
Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
- There are hundreds of different travel insurance policies on the market to chose from so it is worth doing some research rather than just accepting the one offered by your Tour Operator or Travel agent. You can buy travel insurance from your local supermarket or bank, a newspaper or from a high street broker or you may prefer to use an online travel insurer via an aggregator site such as Moneysupermarket.
- All of these outlets have an obligation to provide you with a copy of their policy wording before you commit to the purchase. They should also offer you a copy of the Key Facts about their product. Wherever you decide to buy your travel insurance be sure to look carefully at the limits of the various sections offered to make sure you have the best travel insurance for your particular needs.
- In Europe you will be able to use your EHIC card to cover the cost of emergency medical treatment in a State Hospital but there may be additional costs such as those for prescribed medication or physiotherapy or even for new flights home if you are too ill to travel as booked. Always insist on a minimum level of £2 million medical expenses cover in Europe and at least £5 million if you are travelling farther afield.
- If you are planning to ski or take part in other winter sports the best travel insurance will provide you with at least £2 million personal liability cover as even a minor accidental collision on the slopes could leave you facing a foreign law suit for damages and loss of earnings.
When it comes to cancellation costs check whether the sum offered applies to each insured person or the whole insured group and if it will be adequate for the trip you are planning. Some insurers will allow you to top up this cover to the level you need.