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Why should I flip through various travel insurance plans before choosing one?

Booking a holiday can be a quite challenging experience with so many choices available as to where to go, stay and enjoy yourself. But once you’ve decided on your destination, the next thing to do is to purchase your travel insurance.

When it comes to purchasing travel insurance, there are many outlets you can go to such as the internet, an insurance broker or a travel agent/tour operator. Each of these probably has many plans to choose from so it can be very time consuming to look at everything that’s available.

Nowadays price comparison websites (also called aggregators) are very popular for people looking to purchase insurance of all types, including travel. Many aggregators make a significant effort to simplify the buying process. The comparison site asks some questions about your travel plans (e.g. age, destination and medical conditions), then collates and displays prices of a number of policies that may be suitable for your criteria.

The results would show maximum levels of cover from the providers for the main sections of cover on a policy. In particular, the most frequent reasons for taking out insurance are to have cover for medical expenses, cancellation and baggage. You are also able to access a copy of each provider’s policy wording. Be aware that some providers will appear more than once as they may have a number of products carrying different excesses and levels of cover.

It is often tempting to just select the cheapest policy available but a travel insurance policy is a very complex product with many sections of cover, each with their own terms and restrictions. Similarly, whilst policies may look the same from the outside, when you start comparing them there can be subtle variations in the terms and extent of cover, particularly where there are sub-limits or key definitions.

Each section of cover will be explained in the policy documents, detailing any exclusions and excesses that apply. Only by carefully looking through the policy document can you fully determine the full extent of available cover.

Should you have a medical condition do make sure that full details of these are given at the time of applying for travel insurance (if necessary). Note, that some providers will exclude cover for any medical expenses that directly relate to conditions you may have and some will exclude cover for directly and indirectly related issues. This can make quite a difference to the cover and is one of those areas of ‘’small print’’ that should be checked when you are looking for insurance.

A comparison site will not provide you with any advice on insurance but is there to (hopefully) make all the information you may need available to you so you can make an informed decision about your purchase.

When you have decided on a plan that you feel is right for you, the site will provide you with a link to purchase – usually this is either directly with them or by connecting you to the provider’s website to enable the purchase. Any information you’ve entered into the comparison site’s pages is likely to be transferred at the same time to save you having to re-enter that information.

There are various other differences in how policies are priced that can affect the choice that you make. Some areas of travel will cost more than others as will extending a policy to include extra activities such winter sports.

If you need cover for specific situations such as cattery or kennel fees, redundancy cover, travel delay and such, do check to see whether these are covered as standard or if they are excluded or have an extra charge for inclusion. Carefully checking the policy wording avoids future worries, leaving you to rest and enjoy your holiday!

Summary

Always check the policy terms and conditions carefully and if the policy doesn’t meet your needs, remember, all policies have a 14 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 they will provide information on the safety of various travel destinations. More information can be found at www.flexicover.co.uk/Page/FCO.

Safe travels - enjoy peace of mind when travelling!

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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