So many people head off for their overseas holidays without checking the small print of their travel insurance policy. This may not sound like too big a deal, but if something was to go wrong whilst you are away then you could find yourself being seriously out of pocket.
It doesn’t matter whether you have cheap travel insurance or expensive travel insurance, some terms and conditions may not be present with your particular policy and it is always a good idea to find out just how much protection you actually have!
Here are a few of the more common conditions to be on the lookout for:
1. Claiming for Stolen Items
Most of us will take good care of our possessions and this is exactly what an insurer will expect.
So if we have something stolen from us as a result of our own negligence, then an insurance company may flatly refuse to pay out.
A policy document will explain the finer details regarding the theft of personal possessions, but it is normally a rule of thumb to not leave any expensive items in your room!
Cameras and mobile devices and mobile phones should be kept with you when you are out and about; but if this is not possible they should be locked away in a safe.
2. Claiming for Accidents
Insurance companies also expect us to take care of ourselves!
Going around without thinking of our own health and safety will often result in a claim being refused.
Most insurers will also dismiss any physical harm that is sustained whilst the policyholder is intoxicated.
So if you fall down a flight of stairs after polishing off half a bottle of scotch, you will probably not get any cover for your injuries.
3. Claiming for More Valuable Possessions
Many companies will have a limit to how much they are willing to pay out for a single item.
So if you are planning to take your laptop or gold jewellery away with you it may be necessary to take out extra cover.
Again, in regard to this, you will find out more detail by having a look at your travel insurance document.
4. Cover for Winter Sports and Cruise holidays
Anyone with a love for skiing, sledging, snowboarding or any similar winter sports will probably need to take out extra cover on their travel insurance.
This is easy enough to organise and most good insurers will have specialised policies for this type of activity.
5. Cover for cruise holidays
Cruises are fast becoming a popular holiday choice but be careful to make sure you buy travel insurance that includes cruise cover.
Cruise holidays typically involve visiting a variety of destinations, relaxing on a floating resort with numerous activities to partake in and attending formal dinners.
What happens for example if you fall ill during your trip? Or are confined to your cabin as a result of a contagious illness such as Norovirus?
If your medical needs are greater than can be managed on the ship, perhaps you are suffering from a very serious medical emergency, you may have to be airlifted to the nearest hospital. This of course may be hundreds of miles away.
Some travel insurance policies specifically exclude cover for cruises, while others offer cover for an additional premium.
Where cruise-specific cover is provided, policies vary hugely in the financial protection they offer so, it’s important to check the finer details and shop around to make sure you buy a policy which covers your needs and the cost of your cruise.
6. The Ins and Outs of ‘Multiple Excess’
Any travel insurance policy will included ‘Standard Excess’, but some companies will apply this to each traveller in a group.
So if you are travelling with three other people with a ‘Standard Excess’ of £50 and all of your luggage is stolen, then it would automatically quadruple if you put in a claim. This would result in you having to pay the first £200 instead of £50!
Another possibility to be aware of is, if one single event will actually lead to two (or more) separate claims.
Imagine if your wallet was snatched and you managed to briefly grab hold of the thief.
If you ended up dropping and smashing your mobile phone in the heat of the moment, then you may well have two excesses to pay for; one for your stolen wallet and another for your broken phone! It’s time to check that small print again….