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5 top reasons why you should not ignore travel insurance

When travelling abroad, it is important to have a travel insurance policy that specifically suits your needs. A travel insurance policy contains a lot of information and it is always important to read the policy terms and conditions to make sure you are receiving the cover that you need.

Whilst 85% of the UK population will remember to take out a policy, there are of course others that choose not to. There are other insurances that can be purchased, in particular house insurance, health insurance but these are unlikely to provide you with the full protection that you need when travelling abroad.

In the UK the NHS have European Health Insurance Cards that entitle the holder to medical treatment in a European or specified country state hospital for minimal cost and sometimes free of charge. NHS Choices provide full details of when and where an EHIC can be used www.nhs.uk.

Here are some of the top reasons why travel insurance should not be ignored.

Falling ill when abroad

Whilst we hope that your long awaited holiday will run smoothly, often people will fall ill or have an accident unexpectedly. Spending the day or night in a hospital far from home can be a daunting and expensive experience. Travel insurance policies will often cover your cost of medication and seeing a doctor/nurse or a visit to the hospital. Travel policies use emergency assistance companies staffed with nurses and doctors that are there 24 hours a day to work with your chosen hospital providing support and assistance until you are ready to return to your holiday or return home. The assistance company will also help with any language difficulties. They will work closely with the treating doctor making sure that he/she is aware of any health conditions from your medical records that may affect the treatment that you receive in an overseas hospital.

Sometimes it may be necessary to be repatriated home following an illness or accident and the assistance company will arrange fitness to fly certificates and provide any nurse escort needed to bring you home. On arrival home they will arrange for any transfer needed to a UK hospital for you to complete your recovery.

Without travel insurance it can prove very costly for an illness overseas with just a European repatriation to the UK can be over £20,000 which would not be covered by a European Health Insurance Card.

Medical conditions

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, when buying your travel insurance policy this must be declared. If you choose not to cover your condition, then if you have a medical injury related to this whilst abroad, you will not be covered. It is worth declaring all your conditions ahead of your trip for your peace of mind. If you do have a medical condition it is likely that you will need to complete a medical screening process which will involve answering some simple questions that will give the provider more information about the medical condition/s that you may suffer from.

Remember to shop around for insurance as providers do have different qualifying criteria and the pre medical screening questions may not always be the same.

For people that have more serious conditions, there are specialist providers that are able to help with travel insurance needs. In particular for serious conditions many providers will only provide insurance on a single trip basis and a specialist provider will be needed for an annual insurance policy.

Cancellation

Cancellation of a holiday is something we all dread but unfortunately, it does happen. Travel insurance can help in the event of a cancellation. Do ensure that your cover is at a minimum equal to the cost of your trip. Also don’t leave arranging your insurance to the last minute as cancellation may occur between booking and the date of travel and cover starts immediately the premium is paid.

Personal baggage

It’s everyone’s nightmare when travelling abroad but unfortunately loss of personal baggage does also happen. A travel insurance policy will help recover what has been lost. Different insurance companies will have different payouts within their baggage sections, do ensure the amount of cover is suitable for your needs. Insurers will pay for accidental loss, theft or damage to baggage. There is likely to be a limit for baggage under the policy and generally an excess which will be shown in the policy document.

Travel delays

There is nothing worse than being at the airport and seeing a ‘delayed’ flight sign on the board. Whilst an hour or two maybe tolerable, longer delays do occur and it’s at that point where travel insurance really can come in handy. With delays of 12 hours or more, travel insurance companies are likely to pay out. You may be delayed by a strike, aircraft going ‘technical’, adverse weather conditions or mechanical breakdown of public transport that you are booked to travel on. There is likely to be a limit of cover that will be shown in the policy document so always check that this is adequate for your needs.

Summary

The above points highlight some of the most common situations that occur when travelling. However there are many more reasons why travel insurance should not be ignored. Carefully check the policy terms and conditions and if the policy is not the one that you need there is often a14 day cancellation clause available with a refund of your premiums.

When travelling, always remember to check the latest travel advice issued by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as these pages will provide information on the safety of travel to destinations. They will also provide advice on whether they recommend travel to a destination or just essential travel. More information can be found at www.flexicover.co.uk/Page/FCO.

Have peace of mind when travelling and safe travels.

Further details can be found at www.flexicover.co.uk.

Flexicover, a division of Citybond Holdings Ltd., 109 Elmers End Road, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 4SY, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to transact general insurance business. Citybond’s Firm Registration Number is 312208. You can check this information by visiting the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk.

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