With so many travel insurance providers offering differing cover it’s important to understand what cover you are buying and not just consider that the cheapest travel insurance is the best.
All travel insurance policies include cover for emergency medical expenses, which may extend to repatriation.
You can compare travel insurance policies using a comparison website such as Confused.com or Gocompare.com. Quickly and easily you can see what is on offer for what price.
To help your assessment here’s some information on cover that may be included within a travel insurance policy:
Abandonment – even if you have arrived say at the airport at the required time to check-in, your outward journey may be delayed by your transport company. If this delay extends for too long, maybe 12 or 24 hours, then you might need to abandon your trip. Abandonment cover provides for this eventuality. To make any claim you will need written confirmation from your transport company detailing the reason and duration of the delay.
Cancellation – Unlike abandonment, cancellation of your trip may be necessary because of such as bereavement, injury or illness. Cancellation cover is there for this. Most policies won’t cover if cancellation is down to your own change in plans, a change in your financial situation which means you cannot travel or if you can’t travel due to contractual obligations.
Curtailment – provides cover in the event that you have to cut your trip short or curtail it for some emergency, for example the death of a close family member.
Legal expenses – a defined amount of cover that can be used towards legal costs arising from receiving an injury from a third party whilst on your trip.
Missed departure – despite doing your utmost to meet your departure time you may end up missing it. This travel insurance cover provides for this. You will need to provide written support of what happened, what you did etc to avoid a missed departure.
Personal belongings and baggage – cover for your belongings and baggage. In some policies this cover is simply if they are lost or stolen, others include if they are delayed or damaged. Be aware that the cover will include both a total limit which includes all your belongings such as jewellery and photographic equipment. There will also be a single item limit which is the maximum you can claim on a single item.
Another option for your personal items is to look at your home contents insurance. You may be able to take out extra cover on this to cover for valuable items taken on holiday, or away from the house. You may also be able to get ‘new for old’ cover on these items.
Cash – in addition to personal belongings, cash cover provides cover for cash up to a defined value.
Personal liability – as well as you potentially needing legal expenses if you are hurt by a third party, if you are found to be respsonsible for accidental injury to a third party or damage or lose their belongings, personal liability cover covers this.
Travel delay – whilst a significant delay may mean you resort to abandonment of your holiday, you may simply be delayed through bad weather or mechanical problems with your transport that get resolved and you then continue your trip. Travel delay cover provides some reimbursement based on the length of the delay, however, the delay usually has to be a minimum of 12 hours before you can make any claim.
Travel documents – cover for key travel documents such as your travel tickets and passports.
There are other travel insurance cover options available, such as wintersports cover for skiing and snowboarding, which we’ll cover in another article.
Critcially though, as you buy travel insurance, do make sure you check what cover is being offered, the limit amounts and any excess you have to pay.
There is no point buying the cheapest travel insurance only to find when you need to make a claim you’re not covered.