If you’re planning on going skiing, off to see the world or simply going on a short city break then you will need travel insurance cover. Travel Insurance covers you for financial and other losses incurred while travelling. With the right cover you could get your money back if things go wrong.
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The chaos caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruption and British Airways strikes in 2010 show just how important having decent travel insurance is. Reviews from members shot up during these periods as customers vented their angry and frustration about clauses and exemptions in their travel insurance.
Make sure you shop around and check reviews to get the best offer and more importantly, the right cover for your trip. We’ve put together this guide to help you understand the importance of travel insurance…
Do I Need Travel Insurance?
Unfortunately things can and do go wrong on holiday:
- Accidents and injuries
- Major illness
- Cancelled flights or problems with accommadation
The correct travel insurance will give you peace of mind and could save you a small fortune if problems do occur. The good news though is that most holidays are memorable for the right reasons and that the vast majority of problems can be avoided with sensible preparation and care and attention.
If you are travelling with your family or a group of friends you might want to consider a joint policy as they can offer savings.
Surely all I need is my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Many people assume that their EHIC provides adequate protection when travelling abroad and only find out it doesn’t when the worst happens. The card only covers you for medical care at a reduced cost (sometimes free) for managing pre-existing or chronic conditions. As the NHS site states:
Your EHIC will allow you access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the country you are visiting. However, many countries expect the patient to pay towards their treatment, and even with an EHIC, you might be expected to do the same.
Your EHIC will not cover you for rescue, repatriation, delays to flights or lost and stolen property.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Typical risks covered by travel insurance include:
- Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
- Abandonment of your holiday
- Delayed departure
- Delayed baggage including replacement of essential items
- Emergency evacuation/repatriation
- Legal assistance
- Loss, theft and damage to possessions and money
- Medical costs
- Funeral expenses
Types of Travel Insurance
- Single trip policy (for a one off two week holiday for example)
- Annual policy for longer holidays or multiple trips abroad
- Specific regional cover (worldwide or European only)
- Specialist travel insurance (remote destination trips and high risk sports such as skiing, surfing, and climbing)
- Business travel insurance
- Backpackers insurance
How Do I Know I Am Covered?
Check the small print of your insurance policy very carefully to see if there are any exclusions.
- Injury or death through acts of terrorism or natural disasters
- Alcohol related mishaps
- Injury through high-risk sports
- Pre-existing medical conditions
Check with your insurer carefully and ask them to explain anything you are unsure about. Ask a friend to double check if necessary. Finding out you are not covered for your particular problem is one of the major complaints of travel insurance customers as many Review Centre users pointed out during the ash cloud crisis in 2010.
How Can I Save Money On My Travel Insurance?
Shop around and obtain at least three or four quotes to compare what’s on offer. Compare prices but check what is covered under your policy carefully and especially check the policy details on personal liability. Also consider your policy type carefully. If you travel regularly an annual multi-trip policy is likely to be cheaper and less hassle. Remember to read Review Centre Reviews for tips and recommendations about policies and reliable insurers. Buy your travel insurance online if you want to save money. Normally it will be cheaper.
What Is Business Travel Insurance?
If you are a business traveller think about your cover carefully. Are you covered by your firm for personal injury or loss of property such as a company owned laptop? Check the level of your cover. Do you need additional personal cover? Various policies offer a blend of business and pleasure cover so it is easy to get the right mix for your needs.
What Info Do I Need To Get A Travel Insurance Quote?
The following information is useful to have when obtaining a quote:
- Where you are travelling to and from
- Dates and duration of your holiday
- The types of activities you want cover for, including any specialist or high risk activities
- The value of personal items and luggage to be taken with you
- The number of people to be insured on your policy
- Any pre-existing medical conditions should be mentioned
Does Travel Insurance Cover Terrorism?
War and terrorism are normally not covered under the terms of most travel insurance policies. However, in the past, some insurers have allowed claims for medical expenses and have helped travellers return home. Check with the Foriegn Office if you are planning on travelling to a high risk area and then speak to your insurer.
Just remember that once you have your travel insurance policy sorted then you can pay attention to the really important stuff…enjoying your holiday.