If you’ve just booked your dream holiday, there’s just one last thing to do before you can start counting down the days to your getaway – purchase your travel insurance. It’s important to have the right level of cover in place, ideally at the same time you book your holiday. This is to ensure you don’t forget, and so that your travel insurance can start protecting you and your trip before it even begins.
Most people never need to use their travel insurance, but it’s really great to know that cover is in place – just in case. Whatever the nature of your holiday, whether it’s relaxing on a white sandy beach or stretching out next to the infinity pool, hitting the slopes on a ski trip or scuba diving with tropical fish, holiday insurance is a must-have.
How does travel insurance work?
Travel insurance covers the cost of any overseas medical treatment, just in case you fall ill or have an accident while you’re away. It also covers other travel emergencies, including lost bags or cancelled flights. If something were to happen, you can call your insurer and make a claim. The insurer will then reimburse you for the costs, so you’re not left out of pocket. Not having insurance may result in delays to your treatment, giving you less time to spend enjoying your holiday.
Many people don’t realise quite how expensive overseas medical bills can be. The average cost for treatment is around £1,300, but in serious cases or emergencies it could even be as high as £500,000 once transport, treatment and other costs are taken into account.
Holiday insurance offers peace of mind for your dream escape
According to ABTA, the association of travel agents and tour operators, around 38% of people planning to holiday overseas haven’t yet arranged travel cover. The survey, carried out in May 2019, found that 37% thought they didn’t need cover and 28% said they were prepared to take the risk.
However in reality, it’s simply not worth it. You’ve spent time and money planning every detail of your dream holiday, so you wouldn’t want it to be overshadowed by medical bills. You’ll want to embrace every moment of your time away, so it’s really good to have the peace of mind your holiday insurance is all sorted.
Travel insurance is usually quite easy and quick to arrange, so take out cover as soon as you’ve booked your break.
What will travel insurance cover?
Holiday insurance usually covers emergency medical expenses, as well as personal liability. This covers you if you are sued for causing injury to someone else or damaging property. Some policies include coverage for stolen or lost bags and holiday money and the costs of delaying or cancelling your holiday. In some cases, these are add-ons that will slightly increase your premium, but can be well worth having to make sure that you’re fully protected.
If you’re heading off on an adventurous, remote or tailor-made break, it’s even more crucial to get the right holiday insurance cover. These thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime escapes come with their own risks, so you need to make sure your insurance will cover everything.
Getting ready to ski, snowboard and get your pulse racing on a winter sports holiday? Most winter sports aren’t covered by standard holiday insurance policies, but there’s good news – there are plenty of policies available for avid skiers. It’s just a little extra cover for these riskier activities. If you aren’t sure yet whether you’ll venture away from the comfort and luxury of the après ski facilities, it’s usually worth getting winter sports cover just in case you fancy a spot of skiing while you’re away.
Mountain biking, canoeing, motorcycling, bungee jumping, scuba diving, pony trekking and horse riding can all be categorised as ‘adventure sports’, depending on the insurer. If you think it’s likely that you’ll be making amazing memories with one of these fantastic experiences, it’s best to check that your policy covers it. If an opportunity to bungee jump or take a diving course pops up unexpectedly while you’re away, you should be able to call your insurer and ask for cover to be added.
Your holiday insurance checklist
When you’re shopping around for holiday insurance, there are a few things to remember. Bear the following in mind:
· If you’re over 65 or have an existing medical condition, you may not be able to take out an ordinary insurance policy. You may need specialist cover, and you’ll have to answer questions about your condition honestly. If you attempt to hide anything and you need to claim later on, your insurance policy could be invalid.
· You’ll need to just double-check that your chosen holiday insurance covers the country or region you’re visiting. Many insurers have different policies for UK and European travel, and travel to the USA and the rest of the world. Not all will provide cover for countries where the Foreign Office has issued a recommendation to avoid. It’s always worth making an enquiry in this case, as the destination you’re visiting may be perfectly safe for tourists but you’ll need to arrange specialist insurance cover.
· Check that you have the right level of cover. For instance, £1 million for medical expenses is a good level of cover for European trips, but £2 million is recommended for USA and other longer-haul holidays.
· Must-have features of a good holiday insurance policy include cancellation and curtailment, missed departure, delay, travel abandonment, baggage cover and personal liability cover. You may also want to consider optional cover for money, dental emergencies and loss of passport.
Holidays are a time to escape worries and concerns, to relax, rest and have plenty of fun. The last thing you want is to be worrying about those ‘what if?’ situations. So make sure you get holiday insurance sorted early and you’ll be all set for the trip of a lifetime.