Choosing travel insurance
Holidays are a time to relax and enjoy yourself. A travel insurance policy can help you to do that, by offering financial protection and peace of mind in the event of an accident, ill health, or loss of property.
Types of cover
There are many different types of travel insurance packages available, and they cover a number of different areas.
Here are some of the key factors to consider when choosing travel cover:
Your insurance policy should allow you to reclaim the cost of your holiday in the event that you need to cancel it due to illness or another valid reason. You should check exactly what - and who - is covered under the terms of the policy.
If you should be involved in an accident or taken ill while on holiday, you may have to pay for medical treatment, and you may also incur additional accommodation or travel costs. The costs can be substantial, and your travel insurance policy should include cover against such losses.
Your policy may also pay out if you should be killed or permanently disabled while on holiday.
This covers your personal belongings against loss or damage, within certain limits. Beyond this, it may be worth considering including the goods on your household insurance policy.
This covers compensation for luggage delays and missed departures.
This covers you in the event that you cause injury or damage to other people or their property.
Your policy may also offer separate legal expenses cover, in the event that you need to take legal action against a third party.
Some points to note
The small print
It is essential to check that you are insured for the correct sum, noting any excess charges that may apply
Make sure that the policy covers any sporting or other hazardous activities you may be planning (eg skiing)
You must inform your insurer of any medical conditions you or your family may have; non-disclosure can result in non-payment of a claim
Remember, it is your responsibility to take due care of your belongings; personal cover may also be compromised if you should have an accident while under the influence of intoxicating substances
Keep the evidence
Keep the bills and receipts for any medical treatment or replacement items that you may need to purchase
An insurance broker can help you to decide on the cover you need, and will provide a choice of insurers and policies to suit your needs.
For further information, visit the British Insurance Brokers' Association website.
- Put important documents in the hotel safe, and remove valuable items from your vehicle
- The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles you to reduced-cost, sometimes free, medical treatment that becomes necessary while you’re in a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.
- If you are taking your car abroad, check that you have the appropriate motor insurance
- If you travel frequently, it may be worth taking out an annual policy
- If you are going away for an extended period of time, you may need to notify your household insurer
- Don't forget to take your insurance documents and contact numbers with you on your travels
Further advice and information on travelling is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
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