When booking a trip away, it can be tempting to daydream about the sights you want to see and the clothes you need to pack. Travel insurance can easily be forgotten about but it is one of the most important aspects to consider when planning a getaway.
A lot of people see travel insurance as an extra cost and a hassle after paying for flights and accommodation. In the United Kingdom, 24 per cent of people travelling abroad in 2012 were uninsured, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reports that over 4,000 people every week rely on travel insurance for help with medical treatment.
We don’t want you to become one of these statistics, so we’ve compiled a list of five things you need to consider about travel insurance:
1. Do you already have cover?
Many people are unsure if they have cover or not. Some banks offer travel insurance when taking out accounts, only for customers to forget about it and seek other cover. Go through all your documents and double check what insurance you have in place and if this serves your needs. Don’t leave buying your insurance until you are on holiday, as it may already be too late to get the cover you need.
2. Is your insurance suitable for your trip?
Whether you have existing travel insurance you didn’t know about or you are on the hunt for the right deal, check that your policy includes cover for everything you need. Common essentials include: missed flights or delays, cancellation, insolvency, lost luggage or possessions (remember to include details of your mobile phone or laptop) and even covering costs to keep your pets in care if you are unexpectedly delayed etc.
We all like to live adventurously from time to time but some insurers won’t cover you if you have had an accident but failed to mention your plans to take part in any extreme sports like bungee jumping or skydiving. Many travel insurance policies allow add-on cover for such activities.
3. Beware the EHIC!
Although a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) provides necessary emergency cover in some countries, this is not always the case and may be subject to change. You may unexpectedly have to foot the bill for medical costs in your chosen destination, so don’t solely rely on the EHIC. Instead, purchase a fully comprehensive travel insurance as unanticipated costs such as emergency flights back home can be costly. Nevertheless, it is worth checking your EHIC is valid for your trip. If not, then make sure you leave plenty time to renew it before your departure.
4. Know your stuff
Book a doctor’s appointment and get a medical check-up as well as any required vaccinations so you can answer all the relevant health questions when completing the insurance forms. Be sure to mention any physical or mental conditions and then check your provider covers this. All other details, including dates of departure and return, personal details of people going on the trip including partners, children etc. must also be correct or you won’t be covered. Also, research your destination! Many people don’t think to consider the political situation of a country which could have unknown consequences and may not just affect your cover but your trip too.
5. Check your holiday behaviour
Keep in mind that if you are intoxicated or undertaking some risky behaviour that leads to an accident, you can think again if you expect insurers to help you out. Check your policy details and follow the safety rules and advice wherever you go. If you are involved in outdoor activities, wear appropriate safety gear (helmets, protective clothing etc) as failing to do so could also invalidate a claim.
We hope our tips have helped bring you some peace of mind when planning your trip. Now, all that’s left to do is enjoy your trip!