Travel Insurance

5 Considerations when Booking Travel Insurance

Torquay in Devon

Holiday in Torquay, the English Riviera.

Organising a holiday and getting the right flights, hotel and planning the dates can be time consuming bit also fun. It is important though also to take time to factor in the many considerations when booking travel insurance cover, including to ensure that you book to cover the specific destination/s which you might visit on the trip. You also need to consider factors such as age group, single or multi policies and to factor in other considerations. Below I have listed some things to consider.

Where are you Travelling?

Although it is recommended, it is not essential to purchase medical insurance when travelling through the EU or Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Instead you need to apply for a European Health Insurance Card for free. The card will only cover you for medical emergencies however, and you will still need to purchase a policy that will cover any liability, cancellations or baggage. There are also reports that in some countries such as Spain, some hospitals and medical centre’s have been refusing to accept the EHIC, even though it could be against EU rules not to accept the card. If you are travelling to the United States, then it is essential to purchase adequate travel insurance i.e. even more so than if you were staying in Europe and you should ensure you are covered for a few million pounds i.e. with medical cover of up to £3 million as a minimum. Medical fees in the U.S. can be extremely high and these fees can literally bankrupt you, if you need to pay for an extended hospital stay.

Etna volcano holiday

Etna volcano holiday

What do I need to Cover?

This usually depends on the duration of the trip, what you are taking and where you are going. However at a minimum a policy needs to cover for medical expenses up to £2 million, holiday cancellation cover up to around £3,000, personal liability cover up to £1 million and baggage and valuables up to £1,500. It is also important to bear in mind the cost of the holiday going on, if you are taking a £50 flight to a destination then cancellation cover may not necessarily be needed. Also beware of companies offering medical cover up to £20 million as this is far too much, anywhere between £2 million and £6 million is adequate, again depending on the destination.

How many holidays will I take this year?

If you think you may be taking more than 2 trips abroad within the next 12 months then it may be worth purchasing multi-trip travel insurance. This allows you to travel abroad an unlimited amount of times throughout the year and be insured for all trips. Single trip policies are designed for people only travelling once or twice during the year and purchasing separate insurance for each trip taken. These can now be purchased for as little as a few pound per trip, however travel to America may be more expensive due to their more expensive health care.

What type of trip is it?

There are different types of travel insurance policies depending on the type of holiday or trip you are on. Standard insurance is usually adequate for a package deal to Europe and the Mediterranean, however if travelling further afield, or partaking in certain activities then more specialised policies may well be required.  One example may be ‘Back Packer’ insurance; these policies cover people for more prolonged periods of time, from 3 months to a year. These policies are also worth buying if travelling as they insure the holder to work in different countries too. Another popular type of holidays are the sports related ones which range from golfing trips, to winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Policies should be ensured to check that you are fully covered, including equipment theft and damage, as well as facility cover if for some reason you can’t ski or use the course for some reason.

How do I cover my holiday against cancellation by the operator?

With the current economic climate there may be risk of holidays being cancelled and companies going bust, such as XL Leisure, Silverjet and Zoom. Therefore it is important to insure against such problems, especially as many standard policies will not cover this type of incident. Therefore it may be necessary to purchase Standard Airline Failure separately and ensure that there is minimal risk of losing any money after purchasing your holiday.

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