aAfter being hit by the coronavirus pandemic, many UK families are looking forward to moving abroad this summer, but recent scenes of travel chaos at airports mean that buying travel insurance should be at the top of your to-do list.
The potential for widespread cancellations and delays means that it has “never been more important” to make sure you have adequate travel insurance from the time you book your vacation, says Rory Boland, travel editor for consumer group Which? .
“We advise consumers to check the policy wording carefully to ensure you fully understand what it offers and any limitations, as these can vary greatly between providers,” they said. it is said. “If there are any specific reasons why you’re taking cover, check these sections to make sure they fit your expectations.”
There’s no point in wasting money on an expensive policy that doesn’t suit your needs, or finding out that the basic cover you bought won’t pay off when you need it most. Here we walk you through the things you need to consider in order to find the right policy for you.
When you are looking for a travel insurance policy, make sure you read the small print. The level of security you’ll need depends mainly on where you’re going and what you plan to do when you get there.
For example, if you are moving to a country with expensive medical costs, such as the US, you should consider getting a higher level of coverage for that. If you are planning to do a sport while abroad, this is also something you need to include in your policy.
Also consider whether it’s worth getting multi-trip insurance, which can save you money and hassle if you travel frequently. Experts say it might be worth buying if you have more than one leisure or mini brake in line.
There are several comparison sites you can use to find the best policy for you, such as GoCompare, Moneysupermarket and Comparthemarket.
A family of three, consisting of two adults and one child, with no existing medical conditions, for example between £13 and £153 for different levels of cover for a week-long trip to Spain in July can expect to pay. GoCompare Quotes.
Adding gadget insurance, where it is not included as standard, costs an additional £9 to £45 – depending on the level of cover you need.
You will need to check the details of each policy to see if you are covered for using a moped, quad bike or other activities, as this is not something you can opt for as an add-on. However, you can choose covers for winter sports, cruises and backpacking.
illness and injury
Your travel insurance policy should cover medical expenses abroad and if you become ill while abroad, emergency repatriation to the UK.
It is important to have a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which replaced the European Health Insurance Card (AHIC) for most Britons after Brexit, as it allows you to be provided by a “medically necessary” state in the EU. gives the right to receive care. Switzerland.
Care may include emergency treatment and A&E visits or treatment for long-term or pre-existing medical care. However, you may still need to pay for some treatments, even if they are free on the NHS in the UK.
The card is not a substitute for a travel insurance policy, and is not useful if you are traveling outside Europe. For example, if you are visiting the US, you should make sure that you have good medical cover as hospital bills can be very expensive.
Even within an EU country, the level of care can vary and a travel insurance policy may mean that you can be treated in a private hospital. If you need to be taken back to the UK for medical treatment, a Ghik or Ehik card will not cover the cost, but most good travel insurance policies will pay for repatriation.
Most providers include medical care if you contract COVID-19 while abroad in their policies as standard. However, you may need to check that cancellation due to COVID is included in your policy as you may have to pay extra for it.
If you have any pre-existing medical problems – either physical or mental – make sure you declare them when you buy your policy, otherwise you may not be covered, even if your claim is not related to your illness. You may have recently announced treatment or tests in hospital.
“When taking out a travel insurance policy, customers will typically be asked if they have undergone treatment or medical examination in a hospital, as well as any medical conditions diagnosed,” says Kelly Whittington, Specialty Claims Director, Aviva UK.
“A subscriber may still be eligible for the cover but the insurer may need more information about his health and the types of tests before taking a decision. Cases are usually assessed on an individual basis.”
Declaring medical problems is likely to increase the cost of your policy, but it will be worth it if you need to make a claim.
You may not be automatically covered for all the activities you have planned. For example, your travel insurance may not pay if you fall off a bike while on vacation – unless you are covered for cycling and other sports.
Cancellations and Delays
Canceled flights and delays are usually the responsibility of your airline, but travel insurance can fill the gap when they won’t pay.
Airlines do not have to pay compensation if the disruption is not their fault and must meet certain conditions to be covered by UK law, such as departing from an airport here, or arriving on an EU or domestic carrier .
Make sure your travel insurance policy will cover you for the full cost of your vacation – if your trip costs £1,000 you will need a cover that will pay at least that much in the event of a cancellation.
Your travel insurance will cover you for cancellations and delays in certain scenarios where you would not qualify for compensation from the airline. For example, if you need to cancel your trip due to illness, injury or bereavement. If you are called to jury service or made redundant, you will also be covered.
It’s important to take out insurance as soon as you’ve booked your trip, even if it’s months before you set off. Sean Tipton, a spokesman for travel industry body Abta, says: “If you fell ill and had to cancel your trip and you weren’t insured, you’d be hit with a cancellation fee. Take it out when you book.” .. don’t leave it on for weeks and months.”
You may be able to make a travel insurance claim even if you were compensated by the airline. For example, you can claim for costs such as pre-paid excursions or kennel or petsitter fees.
If your trip is canceled due to a “known event”, you will not be covered. For example, if an airline strike is announced for the day you are scheduled to travel, there is no cover if you buy your insurance after the announcement.
Travel insurance will not cover the cost of missed flights or connections if you arrive late at the airport.
loss and theft
Travelers who have seen lost bags and luggage piles at Heathrow may be more concerned than usual about insuring their property. It’s usually included in a standard travel insurance policy, but it’s a good idea to double-check that the level of cover suits your needs—especially if you’re carrying valuables or specialist equipment.
You’ll also need to look at additional fees — which is how much you’ll have to contribute before your insurer will pay them — versus how much your items cost. Accepting a higher additional fee may reduce the cost of the policy, but if it is £200 and your lost item is only £150, you will get no money back.
Insurance companies usually set a limit on the amount to be paid on baggage claims and a good policy must cover at least £1,500 of personal belongings. If you are packing expensive items like wedding dresses, check the single item limit.
Find out if your phone and laptop are covered as part of your policy or whether you need to take out separate gadget insurance. Most price comparison sites will tell you which policies cover gadgets as standard, and give you the option to add a cover.
To avoid paying extra for duplicating cover, it is also important to check if you have personal belongings included as part of your home insurance.