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Getting the right travel insurance

Travel insurance is a must have for those travelling aboard, and making sure that you disclose everything to your insurance provider is of the upmost importance or you could find yourself stranded without cover just when you need it.

Here are some tips on getting the right travel insurance:

Disclose all previous health problems

When setting up your travel insurance policy it is important to disclose all previous health problems you have suffered, even if they are minor. If you don’t you could invalidate your cover and be liable for a huge medical bill if the worst should happen.

Read the small print

Read the insurance policies fine print before signing. Check that your insurance will cover you for the countries you wish to visit, some European policies include Turkey and others don’t so check the policy thoroughly to make sure that you are covered especially if you are travelling to multiple countries or taking part in day excursions where you will travel over a border.

Hazardous sports cover – if you are inclined to do a spot of water sports or bungee jumping whilst your away check that you are covered. Most travel insurance policies cover you for some activities, but again check the small print. You may have to pay a little more for your policy but it’s definitely worth it. Also note that some insurers won’t cover you if you hire a scooter or if you lose valuables such as your passport or wallet while you are drunk.

Making a claim – your insurer may decline a claim if you do any of the following:

•    If you fail to place your valuables in a provided safe and they are stolen you may not be covered.
•    If you get private medical treatment instead of going to a state-run hospital your insurance company may refuse to pay leaving you with a hefty bill.
•    If you luggage gets lost or stolen while you’re on holiday you must get a police report or letter from the airline if it was lost at the airport. Failure to do this could invalidate you cover.

Insure expensive items separately

Most insurance policies have what is called ‘single item limits’, this means that they will only pay up to £300 per single item that is lost, so if you have an expensive camera or laptop it is best to insure them separately through a dedicated possessions insurance company.

Have insurance – will travel

The motto of the insurance industry should be ‘expect the unexpected’, and whether a traveller is setting off on the trip of a lifetime or just simply popping across the channel for a quick shopping spree, surprises often happen and not all of these are pleasant.

When buying travel insurance, the consumer watchdog, ‘Which’, suggests that cover should include medical expenses for both the injured and also any accompanying family or friends, cover for the cost of an air ambulance; baggage and belongings cover; cancellation fees, should illness mean that flights and reservations have to be adjusted; legal expenses protection; and personal liability, in case damage is caused to a third party in terms of an accident. 

Telephone numbers for the British Consulate and also the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) are also a good idea.  The Consulate can be remarkably helpful when it comes to dealing with overseas bureaucracy and their officials are fluent linguists.

No one sets off on holiday planning to have an accident, but if a traveller is fully protected then that threat need not turn into a disaster.

Do not Forget to Insure Your Luggage and Belongings

When booking your next holiday remember to get travel insurance to cover your personal luggage. The amount of insurance cover you require will be determined by the value of your luggage.  It is often the case that there will be a limit on the number of particularly expensive items you may take with you.

If you get to your destination and find your luggage has been lost, then your travel insurance policy will pay a set amount to allow you to purchase essential items like clothes.

When considering travel insurance for personal belongings or your holiday baggage, remember that your home insurance may cover you for some things.  It is worth checking your policy schedule to see what is and is not covered to save money across your insurance policies.

It is always your responsibility to take reasonable care for your belongings.  If your luggage is in the hands of another, such as the airline or hotel transfer company, then they will be your first point of contact for recovering your lost or damaged items.  If you have your items stolen, you will need to get a report from the local police, so that you can include this with your claim.

Your travel insurance policy may not cover you for loss of your passport, tickets, or other important travel documents.  Therefore, check the policy schedule to ensure you have suitable cover and assistance in getting replacements.