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Different types of travel insurance plans available in UK

This article looks at the different types of travel insurance plans available in the UK and some of their key features.

When arranging travel in the UK or overseas there are many choices for a travel insurance plan to cover your trip.

The widely-used cover is Single trip insurance. This provides a range of features to cover trips that start and end in the UK. If you need one-way cover or for trips starting/ending outside of the UK, you may have to do a little more shopping around as not every provider covers these trips. Many travellers select Single trip cover when travelling on short trips, maybe for a quick city break or as part of their annual holiday. Whatever the duration, there is little variation in the level of benefits; they simply apply for the period needed. Medical conditions may also be covered and in some instances where it may not be possible for a traveller to obtain Annual trip insurance (such as if their medical conditions are severe), they opt for Single trip insurance.

When travelling more than once during a year, you can often save money by considering an Annual trip insurance policy (also known as Annual or Multi-trip policy). Popular with families, these policies provide cover for an unlimited number of trips (though there may be limits on the total number of days you can spend away in a year). Most policies also restrict the number of days you can be away on a continuous basis. You can even include additional optional, features like winter sports cover. When selecting this cover make sure that all the countries you are likely to be visiting (often clustered together in “areas” such as Europe or, Worldwide) during the year are declared when taking out the policy as the policy will only cover the countries or areas listed on the policy schedule.

Once you have an Annual policy, many companies offer the ability for it to be automatically renewed at the end of the twelve months – so you can have peace of mind knowing that you will never be without cover. Medical conditions can also be included but at renewal these often need to be declared again to continue being covered by the policy. Further declarations may also have to be made at the time of travel if your condition has altered since taking out the policy.

If you’re looking to take some time out from studies or to travel the world then consider a Gap year insurance policy. Most policies are available from age 16 up to given age limit (such as age 45) and can be extended if staying for longer than originally planned. If there are two or more people travelling on the same policy then you may be able to get a discount, similar to the couples discount other policies often offer. For students, cover may be available to protect course fees and computer equipment, over and above the standard valuables limits. If you also want to earn some extra money by working whilst you’re away, this is often included (subject to carrying out light physical duties) but make sure that any activities, such as winter sports, you plan on doing are appropriately covered.

If you fancy taking a sabbatical to see more of the world or maybe, later in life, you want to escape the cold British winters to spend a few months overseas, select a Long stay insurance policy, ideal for those extended length trips from 3 to 18 months (the duration allowed may often vary depending on your age). Remember to tell your provider of any medical conditions that you need included when you take out the policy. Also look for cruise cover which may be available at no extra cost.

Need specialist travel insurance? Other policies available in the marketplace include Golf travel insurance which provides cover for loss, theft of or damage to your golf equipment (e.g. golf clubs) while you are away, as well as irrecoverable green fees that you have to pay if you need to cancel or curtail your trip. This insurance is typically available through the provider of your holiday and often includes travel for business as standard.

Getting married abroad continues to increase in popularity making Wedding travel insurance a must. It usually includes cover for loss or theft of your wedding rings, gifts and attire as well as those unique wedding photographs and video. Cover may be available for the additional costs of hiring a professional photographer or video recording professional if those originally booked are unable to attend due to illness, injury or unforeseen transport problems.

All travel insurance plans generally provide 24 hour emergency assistance to assist with medical emergencies as well as being there for general help and enquires. Remember whenever taking out insurance it is always recommended that you fully read the benefits available to ensure that these fully cover your circumstances. In particular, it is very important to note any policy restrictions and exclusions that may apply to various levels of benefits. If in doubt do check with your provider and remember to look out for special offers that could save more money just by renewing a policy.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) isn’t a substitute for travel insurance and thinking it will be is a common mistake. The EHIC offers you low cost (often free) healthcare in the European Economic Area and Switzerland but it isn’t advisable to use this as a substitute travel insurance policy as it may not cover all medical costs and won’t pay for repatriation. It’s also limited to treatment under a state, not private, healthcare system. Do ensure you have an EHIC as well as a travel insurance policy that covers your needs though. Insurers often waive an excess if the EHIC is used for medical treatment. Online applications are accepted for the European Health Insurance Card at: www.ehic.org.uk

When travelling, always remember to check the latest travel advice supplied 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

If you are travelling soon, have a great trip!

Summary

A travel policy offers many features and checking that you have a policy with the right levels to suit your needs is a must. Feel free to take advice from a reputable provider if necessary. Travelling without insurance could prove very costly as many countries do not provide free benefits to foreign travellers and you may be expected to pay on receipt of services. 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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