The Secrets of Travel Insurance

May 1, 2017 11:28 am Published by

Summer holidays are looming, budgie smugglers and bikinis are being dusted off, but dreams of sun could turn to financial nightmares if you don’t spot the loopholes in your travel insurance.

Hols booked but no insurance? You need to sort it NOW. Travel insurance doesn’t just cover you while you’re away, it’ll also cover you for cancellation or anything else that might go wrong before you leave. So if you don’t have it and you need to cancel, you’ve no protection.

Beware the insurance Breathalyser – one drink and you could be out. Many insurers make your average headmaster seem lenient. In some cases, even if you’ve had one drink and you lose something or have an accident, they may say NO if you claim. Insurers have even been known to test blood samples for alcohol. We’re not saying you shouldn’t enjoy yourself, but just be aware and check your policy documents.

Over 65? Don’t pay through the nose. It’s a sad fact of life that as you get older, travel insurers see you as a bigger risk, and costs rise accordingly. Yet there are still good deals to be had.

Get family travel insurance. Many bank accounts with a monthly fee include different types of insurance, including travel. So if you pay for yours you may already be covered. Check the terms to see if it’s appropriate for your trip, eg, does it cover extreme sports?

Some ‘European’ policies don’t cover Spain. European cover is generally defined geographically, and not just for the EU. But bizarrely some don’t automatically cover Spain (and the Balearic/Canary Islands). You may have to select ‘Europe with Spain’ and pay extra.

Many insurers also cover a handful of non-European countries on a European policy. So if you’re off to Egypt, Morocco, Turkey or Tunisia, it’s worth getting a quote for European cover first and then checking the policy’s geographical area definition to see if the country’s included.

Your claim could fail if you haven’t declared all medical conditions (for you, your family or a travelling companion) before you travel. No matter how minor you think it is, tell them EVERYTHING. This applies to you, anyone you’re travelling with or a family member at home (who you’d fly back for if they got ill).

Lose your mobile/e-reader/laptop and you’re probably not covered. Many travel insurance policies won’t automatically include gadget cover. If you need it, select it as an add-on extension to your travel insurance, check your home insurance cover or consider a specialist gadget policy.

You’re never covered in dangerous destinations. If you visit a country the Foreign Office warns against travel to, you won’t be covered for any claims as you’re deemed to have ignored Govt advice. Check the foreign travel advice site before you go.


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