Travel insurance buying guide
After medical expenses, cancellation cover is the next most important consideration when looking to insure your holiday. Always ensure that your cover is equal to or greater than the cost of your trip.
Pre-existing medical conditions
Do ensure that you and those travelling with you are properly covered for medical expenses. You should declare any pre-existing medical conditions at the time of the purchase, no matter how minor, even if these are controlled by medication. You may be asked to pay an additional premium to cover these conditions.
If you fail to declare a condition, insurers are very likely to exclude the condition from cover automatically. Some insurers may even consider your policy to be invalid and will not pay any claims in relation to these conditions. Check your policy’s health warranty and if you’re unsure about anything, it's always best to ask. Quality insurance providers will offer a freephone facility for this purpose.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice
Travelling against FCO’s advice to destinations can mean your travel insurance won’t cover your trip. The FCO website offers straightforward travel advice, top tips and up-to-date country information, so when travelling to a high-risk country check their website. Some insurers won’t even cover you if you are travelling to specific destinations regardless of FCO’s advice (e.g. policies underwritten by AIG Europe will not cover trips to Afghanistan, Cuba, Liberia or Sudan). Visit : www.fco.gov.uk
Are your possessions covered by your home insurance?
If you have contents insurance with ‘all risks’ cover, it may include an extension that insures your possessions whilst away. If you do need cover though, besides the overall limit, also check the single article and valuables limits. Some policies provide free business cover for your business equipment.
Compare policy excess charges
The policy excess is the amount you will have to pay if you make a claim on your travel insurance. Excesses vary from policy to policy, some higher-end policies carry nil excess but others can be as much as £500; generally the higher the excess, the lower the initial premium so it’s a trade-off. In the event of a claim, the excess is deducted per insured person; if a family of 4 cancels their holiday, the excess deduction would be £200 (4 x £50)
Consider annual cover
If you travel more than once a year, instead of booking separate single trip policies, annual multi-trip travel insurance can save you time and money. Check the maximum stay and trip duration though. Additionally, ensure that your policy allows you independent travel, i.e. each insured member can travel separately under the policy.
Be a good sport
Think about whether you’re going to take part in any sports or activities on holiday. If you are, check the policy to see if they are covered as standard or whether you need to buy extra cover. A high quality insurance policy will offer automatic cover for the most common activities such as bungee jumping, cycling or scuba diving.
EHIC can save you money
A European Health Insurance Card (“EHIC”) entitles you to low cost (and sometimes free) healthcare in the European Economic Area and Switzerland. However, it isn’t there to be used as substitute travel insurance as it will not cover all medical costs and won’t pay for repatriation. How can it save you money then? If you have used an EHIC card when you received treatment, a quality travel insurance provider will forego the excess payment on a medical claim for any additional costs. To apply visit : https://www.flexicover.co.uk/Page/How_Do_I_Apply
In the event of a claim
Several quality insurers offer the option to text you details of your cover and a 24 hour emergency phone number which you can save on your mobile phone. It’s great to have these just in case.
Read the policy terms!
Policies never make the most interesting reading but it's the only surefire way to know that you have the right cover for your needs. Pay close attention to policy exclusions (e.g. policies will be invalidated in the event of a claim arising out of non-disclosure of existing medical conditions, the effects of alcohol, not wearing seat-belts/helmets, etc). If you are unsure of anything, just ask your travel insurer, it need not cost you anything!
When you decide to travel, Flexicover Direct, is likely to meet all your insurance needs within its flexible portfolio of policies. We are committed to providing the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.
If you are travelling soon, have a great trip!
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