Travel Insurance Buyers Guide
Travel Insurance can seem like a boring and unnecessary item, why spend money on insurance when you could spend it on holiday clothes and drinks? However, travel insurance should really be at the top of your priority list; in fact you should purchase travel insurance as soon as you have booked flights and accommodation, to ensure you’re protected against unexpected cancellation costs.
Quality travel insurance will protect you if you have to cancel your holiday due to sudden illness or injury. It will also provide cover if you become ill or injured, or if you lose your vital possessions or travel documents whilst you are overseas – without insurance these holiday disasters could cost you thousands of pounds.
The choice of travel insurance and the various options available can be confusing, so here are our top tips for purchasing travel insurance;
- Make sure the cancellation cover is enough to cover the pre-paid costs of your trip.
- Make sure the policy covers your baggage if it is lost, damaged or stolen.
- All travel policies have specific amounts they will cover valuables for. You need to check these limits carefully to make sure they will adequately cover your belongings. For example, if you are travelling with an expensive camera, but only have £100 valuables cover you will not be happy if you come to make a claim, how will you buy another one? Technically valuable items should be insured all year round on your home contents insurance – check this before you travel.
- Does the policy cover the costs of emergency items of clothing if your bags are misplaced by the airline?
- Make sure the policy includes a minimum of £2 million medical cover (£5 million if travelling Worldwide) to cover emergency medical expenses and repatriation – it may seem extreme but medical treatment abroad can be extremely expensive, especially in an emergency situation.
- Make sure you have declared any pre-existing medical conditions, and make sure your policy covers them. Without this you will not be covered for any bills resulting from this condition.
- If you are thinking of taking part in adventurous activities such as skiing, mountain climbing, safaris etc., check that your policy covers them.
- Once you have purchased your policy you will usually have 14 days in which to read it through and check that it covers your particular needs.
- We offer no excess travel insurance policies so you don’t pay any extra as part of your claim as well as an excess waiver extension if you choose a policy with an excess.
- If you are planning to travel to multiple destinations or work/volunteer abroad, make sure the policy actually covers you for everything you need. For example if you have purchased a World Wide Excluding USA, Canada and the Caribbean policy, you will not be covered if you change your itinerary whilst you are away and decide to visit the USA.
- Finally ALWAYS read the small print, otherwise you might miss vital information. For example, will you be covered if you cancel your holiday because; you are suddenly called up for Jury Service, if someone close to you dies or falls ill unexpectedly, or if you are made redundant?