Planning a trip abroad?
Things can go wrong when you go on holiday. You could fall ill, have an accident. Your luggage and money could be lost or stolen. Your trip could be cut short by injury or illness or your family could need to fly out to be with you in the event of a serious illness or accident.
It is surprising how many people don’t take out adequate travel insurance or any at all when they go away, most believe that other insurance policies they hold will cover them but this is simply not be sufficient. For example having credit card accident cover, private health care, or home insurance is not adequate enough cover for your trip.
Travel insurance is vital. Be sure you are covered for any hazardous activities you could possibly take part in. Some travel insurance policies do not cover some of the riskier activities such as bungee jumping, scuba diving, skiing, horse riding, jet skiing and more (these can vary from policy to policy). Check your policy details for anything you are not covered for. With policies that do provide cover for these activities, it may be that they do not cover you for liability and personal accident. This should be provided by the company hosting the activity. When taking part in activities such as golf, it is wise to have insurance that will cover you if there should be an accident which involves you causing an injury to another player. Most standard insurance policies may not provide cover in these situations.
Health cover should be included in your travel insurance, always check it is adequate for your destination. Medical and health insurance is your responsibility. Most people are aware that medical care in USA is expensive, but many other countries also have expensive medical services. You may have to pay thousands of pounds in medical costs if you fall ill or have an accident. The level of medical cover should be at least £1million for Europe and £2million for the rest of the world. Be honest when declaring your medical health or you may not be covered by your policy.
Other exclusions that might apply in a travel insurance policy include injury or death through acts of terrorism or nature and accidents caused through drinking alcohol. So it is wise to do some research on your destination before you travel to avoid common travelling traumas, risks and dangers. After the World Trade Center and the Bali bombing insurers are careful about the level of cover they offer and what they will pay out for. Also check with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that they have not advised against travelling to the country you are planning to travel to. Some Insurers will not provide cover for these countries. Drink – related incidents will usually not be covered in a policy so be aware in the event of an incident you will have to pay your own medical costs and also for any injury or damage caused to others.
Loss, damage or theft of luggage, possessions and money can be covered by your insurance policy. If you are unfortunate enough to be a victim of theft report it immediately to the police who will provide you with a statement to show your insurer when you make the claim. Policies will generally limit claims for single items – the limit can vary from as low as £200 up to £1000 or more. There is likely to be a similar limit on the total paid to replace valuables, such as cameras or jewellery. Check that these limits are sufficient for your needs. If you end up losing your luggage on route make sure you are covered and do not rely on compensation from the airline. It is recommended that you buy the necessary replacements which you will be able to claim for after your trip if you are properly covered by a good insurer. With money, passports, important documents and any valuables it is a good idea to carry these items in your hand luggage in case of luggage loss. Do not take large quantities of cash with you on a trip; try to take a mixture of cash and travellers cheques. Which you should keep in a safe deposit box or in the hotel safe when you arrive. This will limit the chance of having anything stolen. It is also wise to leave your travellers cheque information at home with your family in case of loss and also leave a credit card at home in case of emergencies. Cancellation is one of the most common reasons for claiming on your travel insurance. Your policy has to have been started a couple of weeks before your departure date for you to be able to claim for this. Your policy should also cover you if you fall ill and have to cut short a trip and come home. It should cover pre-paid expenses, such as excursions, and any extra costs incurred in getting home. Check your policy documents to see what would be covered – accident, illness, and pregnancy unknown when you buy the policy, jury service, etc. some even go as far as covering you if you are being made redundant or if a strike or bad weather affects the departure of a ship or flight. You will need a policy with sufficient cover to refund the full cost of your holiday. Always check your policy for details.
When buying a Travel Insurance Policy you may want to consider how many times a year you are likely to travel. If you do travel more than once a year it would be worth buying an annual multi-trip policy. It may seem more expensive outright but when spread out over your holiday’s day per day it is far cheaper. An annual multi-trip policy should also include cover for Winter Sports activity as well as a standard holiday policy. ~So there is no need to worry about adding extras for each holiday.