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While we all love to get away from time to time, accidents do happen. As well as medical bills, travel insurance covers, delays, lost items and thefts. All these are costly if you’re not properly insured.
Whether you’re taking the family to the beach, a student on your gap year on a trip of a lifetime or simply making the most of your retirement. There is a policy to keep you covered.
Travel Insurance Guide
For the overseas travellers, items like luggage and passports are generally considered crucial for the trip. But what about travel insurance? Far fewer people might consider this a travel essential, and yet it’s unquestionably an important part of ensuring the trip goes smoothly, and of ensuring the traveller is not left out of pocket if something wrong was to happen.
Basic Travel Coverage
Regardless of what optional extras a traveller chooses, travel insurance for UK holidaymakers may include all the following components.
Cancellation and curtailment - This part of the policy is the fall-back if a traveller has to cancel their holiday, or if they go on holiday and then have to cut it short and return home early. A good general rule for coverage level is to choose an amount that will reimburse the total cost of the holiday if a claim is needed to be made.
Baggage and belongings - Pays for the cost of lost or damaged luggage and personal possessions.
Delay - This typically pays out if the flight is delayed for longer than the period specified in the policy, which is typically 12 or 24 hours. When a traveller’s flight is delayed, they should get confirmation in writing from the airline and keep the receipts for anything they have to pay for or buy as a result of the delay.
Medical expenses - One of the most expensive travel disaster scenarios involves medical care while abroad. Depending on the country the traveller is visiting and the kind of medical care they need. The costs could easily run to tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Personal Liability - This kind of insurance applies in cases where the traveller injures someone or damages their property and the third party makes a claim for compensation.
Travellers might do well to remember to check the fine print, and make sure they’re covered for everything they think they are. This could be particularly important for things like cancellation and curtailment, when it’s important to be clear on what circumstances are included.
Few travel insurance policies provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. For example, for someone who is diabetic, their travel insurance won’t cover any medical expenses relating to the diabetes but will provide coverage for any unrelated medical expenses. People with medical conditions could opt for special cover that includes the pre-existing condition but might pay higher premiums.
Special Coverage Types
Adventure travel - This might cover high-risk activities for adventure tourists, but it does usually come at a price. Insuring a trip that includes activities such as bungee jumping, rock-climbing and abseiling could mean higher premiums. It might be possible to purchase specialist policies that cover winter sports, for activities such as skiing and snowboarding.
Annual travel - For frequent travellers. It could prove to be cheaper to buy annual insurance that provides coverage for the whole year, rather than buying policies for individual trips.
Backpackers - Most travel insurance is typically valid for a short period of time, typically 30, 60, or 90 days. Consider something like backpackers’ insurance for longer trips. This could be valid for up to 18 months and covers multiple countries.
Family travel - For families travelling with children. Some policies offer free insurance for kids under a certain age, however some charge a separate excess for each member of the family. This might mean that family insurance isn’t always cheaper but it could be worth investigating for family holidays.
Older Travellers - Most insurance companies charge higher premiums for older travellers.