Imagine the wonderful feeling that you’ve just booked your summer holiday. Before you get too excited though, have you taken time to buy travel insurance too?
Why do I need travel insurance you may ask. Isn’t it just another cost?
Think ahead, whether you’re off in a few days or a few months, you don’t want to worry about what could go wrong with your holiday or worry that for some reason you’ll have to cancel it and risk losing all the money you’ve paid out.
You certainly don’t want to be worrying when you should be sitting and relaxing on a beach or attempting that long walk in the countryside.
For peace of mind, you want to make sure you buy travel insurance that meets your needs.
It’s good to know that should anything go wrong, you have the right insurance.
Where can you buy travel insurance?
You can purchase your insurance from travel agents, usually at the same as you book the holiday itself, which feels fairly seamless and easy, but they may offer one- size- fits all – type of package, which could exclude you from being covered for the specifics of your holiday.
You may also be paying more than you need to.
To tailor travel insurance to your trip, try browsing some quotes online.
The good thing about booking your travel insurance this way is that the websites are thorough and not only do they summarise their policies, but they also provide key facts and you can flit from one package to another until you find one that works for your trip.
What do you need to include in your holiday insurance?
As with buying any insurance, it is vital that you understand what the policy covers, and equally important what exclusions there are. Also be aware of any amount limits (eg what is the maximum payout should you have to cancel your holiday) and also any excess amounts (the amount you have to pay).
Don’t just opt for the cheapest cover available.
Carefully consider what cover you need – our article on what travel insurance covers may be useful, you can read it here.
All travel insurance has basic emergency medical cover, but not every policy covers injuries from extreme sports, personal loss in freak weather conditions or a range of other possible exclusions.
So do a bit of research on where you’re headed and what conditions will be like when you arrive there.
It’s also a good idea to opt for cancellation, abandonment or curtailment insurance. That way, if something unexpected happens, you won’t lose both your trip and your money.
Personal belongings insurance also needs to cover the full value of what you’re taking along – and make sure your travel documents (tickets and passport) are included in the policy.
If they get lost, having them registered with your insurer makes it a lot easier to get replacements.
If you’re going to be undertaking any sporting or other adventurous activity while you’re away then you should check the policy wording to make sure it is covered. For example if your off skiing you will need winter sports cover.
If your off to do some scuba diving or mountaineering, equally you’ll likely to need specialist or at least extra cover.
Equally if you’re heading off on a cruise, it’s like you’ll need some extra cover as standard travel policies often specifically exclude cruise cover.
Annual or single trip insurance?
It’s also worth considering how many holidays you take throughout the year, because there are simpler ways of sorting out your insurance so you don’t have to re-purchase it every time you go away.
An Annual-Trip policy as the name indicates lasts for a year and enables you to go on numerous trips, for up to an agreed number of days each time. Obviously this is very useful if you plan to enjoy numerous weekend breaks or on taking multiple short or even longer break holidays.
Single trip insurance is, as the name suggests, only going to provide you cover for 1 trip, from the start to the end of your holiday.
Be aware that it makes sense to buy single trip insurance as soon as you book your holiday, even if it isn’t starting for a couple of months or more. The reason is, you will have cancellation cover from the date you buy the policy. Very useful should you find you need to cancel your holiday for some reason.