Travel insurance policies provide comprehensive cover against various risks associated with travelling abroad. As with other insurance policies they do have exclusions and it is important to ensure the policy you are considering provides you with sufficient cover for your travel needs.
Unfortunately things can go wrong no matter where you choose to go abroad. You could fall ill or have an accident; you could have money or luggage stolen; your visit might be cancelled or cut short through injury or illness, or your family may need to fly out to be with you if there is a serious incident. Medical treatment costs can easily run into the thousands of pounds, which is why it is essential to have adequate travel insurance cover.
Market surveys show that many people don’t take out travel insurance before going abroad. People believe that their credit card accident cover, home insurance, or private health insurance is sufficient enough to cover them against any unforeseen circumstances when travelling. However, it is quite unlikely that these kinds of insurance would give adequate cover if something goes wrong when you are abroad.
The cost of travel insurance varies widely, so bear in mind that a cheaper travel insurance policy may have less cover than a more expensive policy. Price isn’t always an indication as to the quality of an insurance policy and it is always better to check before you buy rather than find you are under-insured or un-insured. Also if you make several trips abroad each year, consider taking out annual multi-trip travel insurance to save you time and money.
It is always important to know what your travel insurance policy covers you for. If you are ever in doubt about any of your travel insurance documents, you must call the insurance company. A typical travel insurance policy should cover you for the following:
- Any sports and activities that you might do. Some activities, such as jet biking, are excluded from many travel insurance policies. Many insurers that we deal with will extend cover, if requested.
- Medical and health cover is very important. It should be for a minimum of £1 million for Europe and £2 million if worldwide. It must include cover for emergency medical treatment, hospitalization and repatriation.
- Personal liability for injury or damage to others and their property.
- Cancellation if you have to cancel or abandon your trip. Cancellation cover should start as soon as you book your trip.
- 24 hour emergency assistance if things go wrong. The assistance company will help you to sort things out.
- Possessions cover, including money and documents to specified limits.
- Your policy may also cover accident money paid on death or permanent disability.
You may also wish to consider verifying whether your policy covers you for legal expenses to help you pursue compensation or damages following personal injury whilst abroad. This could be of particular use if there is no legal aid system in place in the country to which you are travelling.