Everything You Need To Know About Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is the best way of making sure you’re in safe hands while abroad/on holiday. Travelling without insurance puts you at risk of paying thousands of pounds if anything happens whilst your away. If you have travel insurance while going abroad, you are guaranteed to be covered for things such as medical care, stolen baggage and a lot more depending on which provider you choose.
Most policies include cover for:
- Emergency medical expenses
- The cost of cancelling, delaying or cutting your trip short
- Personal liability (for example if you were sued for damaging or causing injury to somebody or their property)
- Lost/ stolen bags
If you are buying travel insurance, make sure you are covered on at least both medical expenses and getting home as these are two essentials. Note that baggage and cancellation cover may be added as additional extras but are to both just as important to have.
What should your travel insurance policy include?
Travel insurance policies do vary, and each come with different cover, so it’s important to know what kind of policy would benefit you the most. Below I am going to list eight things that all travel policies should include, these are the things you want to make sure your policy contains as they will benefit you the most.
- Getting you back home – If your abroad or on holiday and you must fly back home in an emergency, cover should provide the costs of emergency return to the UK, however any treatment/surgery which can wait until you return to the UK would not be covered.
- Missed departure – This will cover costs of accommodation and travel expenses if you miss your departure flight/boat or train due to situations out of your control for example public transport delays or being in an accident on the way. Always make sure you allow yourself enough time to get to the airport, station or port as if you didn’t then you won’t be covered. If you break down, you will have to provide a report from the breakdown company to prove evidence that it happened
- Cancellation – If you cancel or shorten your trip you will be covered for any travel and accommodation costs you have paid for and are unable to claim back. Many policies will only cover cancellations under there terms and conditions so always check before proceeding.
- Medical expenses – Cover towards any costs of emergency medical and surgical treatment while you are abroad. Any treatment that can wait until you return to the UK according to medical opinion would not be covered.
- Delay - If there are delays to your plans while travelling, for example due to weather or mechanical breakdowns the insurer will pay a contribution depending on how long the delay was. If the delay was already known about before you travelled, then you won’t be covered.
- Baggage – If your baggage Is lost/stolen/damaged or destroyed you will be covered. You will need to report all losses within a certain time and get a report from your airline if it was them that lost your baggage.
- Travel abandonment – If you must cancel your trip/journey this cover will refund your travel and accommodation expenses. Policies will only cover you in certain circumstances so make sure you check the terms and conditions.
- Personal liability – If you are liable to pay damages due to accidental injury to someone or for loss/damage to someone’s property.
Your travel insurance policy should include all the above features; however, some policies include extras such as:
- Dental emergency – If you are required emergency dental treatment while you’re away they will provide cover towards the costs of emergency dental treatment while your away. Non-emergency treatment is not usually covered.
- Cash – Covers you for loss or damage to money held as cash.
- Money – If you have money/cheques or pre-paid tickets that have been lost or stolen they will replace the money. You will not be covered if you don’t claim the loss/theft of money to the police within 24 hours of discovering it and getting a written police report.
- Loss of passport – Provides cover towards additional travel and accommodation expenses because of needing to replace a lost passport. If you do not have receipts for the additional expenses you won’t be covered.
- Terrorism – Covers your medical costs in the event of an act of terrorism. Some insurers cover certain things and extras such as baggage damage so make sure to check the terms and conditions.
Don’t fall for the cheap prices
When it comes to travel insurance the cheapest is not always the best and sometimes spending that little more will end up benefiting you. There are many different policies and the right one for you may not always be the cheapest one available. If the policy is the right one for you it is worth paying a few extra pounds, as getting the cheapest one may stop you for claiming when you need to.
When you’re looking for your policy make sure to look at the benefits and features, a really good way to get the best deal is writing a list of all the features you want or need, looking on comparison sites and filtering what you want on your list.
Do you need travel insurance if you own a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
If you own an EHIC you get the same level of medical care as someone who lives in the country your visiting and the card is valid in all European economic area countries. What you need to remember Is that the country your visiting may not have the level of care that you may want, for example they may not have the same as what you get in the UK. Having an EHIC card may benefit you when buying travel insurance as there is a chance they won’t ask you to pay the excess on your medical claims. Even if you own an EHIC card it is still recommended to buy travel insurance as the EHIC card is not enough by itself.
Things to consider:
- As all travel insurance policies are different you must choose carefully what one will benefit you the most. If you are taking part in dangerous activities while away such as adventure sports or skiing then you probably wont be covered as part of a standard travel insurance policy and might need to pay for extra cover.
- If you’re 65 or over and have a medical condition you may need specialist insurance.
- If you have any kind of medical condition it is important to tell your insurer if your asked, even if you think its not important. If you do not do this, you are at risk of invalidating your insurance policy.
- Check that your policy covers you for the destination your going to, policies do vary, and you never know what you’re signing up for, some providers will include all countries, some won’t include specific countries for many different reasons. For example, Turkey is sometimes put under European cover and sometimes its not, worldwide cover doesn’t always include the USA, it can all be confusing so making sure to read the policy carefully is important.
How we help
Don’t forget here at Smart Cover we can help you with the right travel insurance that will protect you and your family on holiday!
Contact us via our website or call us on 03333 449 559 if you would like to find out more, our customer service team will be happy to help with any questions or queries.