If you're going Skiing, off to see the world or simply going on a short city break then you will need to be covered by travel insurance. Make sure you shop around and check reviews to get the best offer and more importantly, the right cover for your trip. Read on for further advice.
Travel Insurance is insurance for financial and other losses incurred while travelling in your own country or abroad. If you are covered correctly you could be reimbursed for things like hospital treatment, lost luggage, damage to personal items etc.
Travel insurance can cover a definite period for a two week holiday or trip or for longer continuous periods, including annual cover.
Travel insurance can be obtained regionally such as worldwide or European cover.
Specialist travel insurance is also available for remote destination trips and high risk sports such as skiing, surfing, climbing. Also travel to areas of high risk such as countries with high crime, war zones or a greater risk of natural disasters.
Typical risks covered by travel insurance include:
Unfortunately things can and do go wrong on holiday. Partly because you are less likely to be familiar with some risks when travelling abroad; and you can be exposed to a greater variety of threats compared to life at home. Also, when facing problems on holiday the support which is freely available, say in the UK, may not be available in a foreign country; or it could be vastly expensive. Common accidents and problems on holidays include: injuries sustained by falls, stolen money and credit cards, luggage and electronic goods. Ski slopes are a major location for holiday accidents with Winter Sports in general being a frequent cause of injuries. Holidays can be cancelled or cut short through injury or sickness and your family may need to fly out to be at your side in case of an emergency. All these risks and more can be covered by taking out travel insurance. The correct travel insurance will give you peace of mind and could save you a small fortune if problems do occur. The good news though is that most holidays are memorable for the right reasons and that the vast majority of problems can be avoided with sensible preparation and care and attention.
You should check the small print of your insurance policy very carefully to see if any exclusions apply and make sure you are happy with what you are paying for. Exclusions can sometimes include injury or death through acts of terrorism or natural disasters, alcohol related mishaps, high-risk sports or pre-existing medical conditions. Each policy you are offered is likely to be different. Check with your insurer carefully and ask them to explain anything you are unsure about. Ask a friend to double check if necessary. Finding out you are not covered for your particular problem is one of the major complaints of travel insurance customers as many Review Centre users testify.
Millions of people travel overseas and holiday at home and abroad every year with no problems whatsoever but it is best to take sensible precautions when you are travelling. These include keeping valuable hidden from sight, being aware of pickpockets in crowded areas and keeping to safe areas, especially at night. Researching your destination in advance will also help you prevent trouble, including weather conditions, customs, travel routes and modes of transport. Try and use reliable holiday service providers. Review Centre reviews are an invaluable and unbiased account of holiday experiences and can provide many hot tips. It's also good to check specific travel information prior to your trip. The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office website lists countries and locations where travel could be dangerous. You can also buy a good travel guide with info about safety issues and potential problems as well as all the tourist attractions and fun stuff. There are also a number of good travel websites.Travel related accidents tend to occur on the road - while driving or crossing the road, on the beach and in hotels where you are familiar with equipment. Take extra care in remote travel destinations. Take a mobile phone and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Ensure you have enough money for your holiday, respect the laws and customs of other countries, avoid drugs and excessive alcohol. Ensure your travel insurance is up-to-date!
If you are travelling with your partner/family or a group of friends you might want to consider a joint policy. Multi person policies can offer substantial savings and are also helpful in the event of a group being affected by the same problem. Everyone will then be able to share the same type of cover, helping with any practical arrangements that need to be sorted and ensuring no one misses out.
Shop around and obtain at least three or four quotes to compare what's on offer. Beware of buying travel insurance from travel agents without comparing costs with other travel insurance providers. Compare prices but check what is covered under your policy carefully and especially check the policy details on personal liability. Also consider your policy type carefully. If you travel regularly an annual multi-trip policy is likely to be cheaper and less hassle. Avoid cover for skiing and other high risk activities on your policy unless you intend to take part in these activities. They will usually be expensive. In general think carefully about what 'you' will be doing on your trip and get the appropriate cover. Check the value of your clothes and other possessions and ensure your cover is appropriate for the value of these items and not in excess. If you are over insured you are paying for nothing. Remember to read Review Centre Reviews for tips and recommendations about policies and reliable insurers. Buy your travel insurance online if you want to save money. Normally it will be cheaper.
If you are a business traveller think about your cover carefully as there are specific issues and cover linked to your needs which a business policy may provide. Are you covered by your firm for personal injury or loss of property such as a company owned laptop? Are you covered for the right number of trips throughout the year? Check the level of your cover. Do you need additional personal cover? Are you self-employed or own your own business? Check that any valuable documents or information, as well as equipment, is covered from theft, loss or damage. You could find yourself paying for expensive losses if you are not adequately covered. Various policies offer a blend of business and pleasure cover so it is easy to get the right mix for your needs.
The following general information is useful when obtaining a quote:
A single trip policy usually covers you for one trip up to around 60 days and so these are ideal cover for typical holidays, short or weekend breaks and cruises. Most single policies should cover you for things like medical emergencies, loss or theft of personal items, travel delays and cancellations, personal liability and legal costs. Annual Travel Policies are usually for any number of trips during a 12 month period and cover multiple trips for longer periods, often up to 90 days. You should be able to find the same level of cover but these longer period policies tend to offer better value for money for business travellers and other regular travellers.
War and terrorism are standard exclusions under the terms of most travel insurance policies. However, in the past, some travel insurers have extended cover to cover medical expenses and have helped travellers return home. Often it is standard practice for insurers not to cover travel to those areas where there are Foreign Office safety warnings. And often this general stance will extend to delays and missed flights and cancellations caused by a terrorism threat. Passengers affected should contact individual insurers and check this out. In some cases policies will refund costs if a trip needs to be called off at the last minute following new Foreign Office warnings but this can still be a grey area. The best thing to be aware of is that the risk of being involved in a terrorist attack is minute, especially if you avoid countries which are badly affected.
Yes. Many companies offer specialist packages for cruise passengers. In the unfortunate circumstances of an accident or should you become ill during your cruise holiday then medical assistance should be available on board. It is important that your policy will cover you though and pay out compensation for other types of accidents or problems that can occur during cruises. Shop around and compare to standard packages.