Are You Smart When It Comes to Travel Insurance?
02 Apr 2019 by Olga Brighton
Travel Insurance Tips
It’s refreshingly reassuring that these days most Brits travel abroad with some kind of travel insurance in place. According to the Association of British Travel Insurers (ABTA), in 2018 78% travelled with some level of cover, while a whopping 22% still travel completely uninsured.
Here we’ll explore why buying travel insurance is a no-brainer. And look at the essentials you need to know to get the right travel insurance policy before setting foot on your next holidays:
Why buy travel insurance?
Did you know that a medical problem overseas could result in sky high costs spiralling higher than an eye wateringly large mortgage? ABTA reported one traveller to the US who suffered a stroke clocking up £768,000; and £81,000 for another traveller who had pancreatitis in Greece.
So if you need more persuading than that, here’s why it’s worth buying travel insurance:
- You can’t rely solely on an EHIC card: If you live in the EU, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives EU citizens access to state medical care while travelling in the EU. The EHIC may cover some state-provided medical treatment, but it won’t cover repatriation costs, or additional support, like a doctor or nurse escort. And it won’t cover your luggage if it’s lost or stolen!
- The Brexit Effect: For UK residents - if we leave the EU without a Deal, then UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid.
- A medical problem could cost a small fortune: A medical repatriation within Europe could cost you over £10,000.
- Even simple mishaps are expensive: Overseas out-patient medical treatment for simple inconveniences like infected mosquito bites can cost over £150, while hospital treatment can quickly run into thousands.
- Help when you need it most: who do you turn to for recouping your costs if your trip is cancelled; or your flight is delayed; or your passport, or luggage is stolen; or you have an accident or illness abroad? Travel insurance is for all these distressing, unforeseen events and most policies have a 24hr 365 day Emergency Assistance Service with multi-lingual staff and access to doctors and nurses who can assist when you need it most.
How to choose the right cover?
Whatever your holiday habits, don’t be foolhardy by leaving home without travel insurance. UK Travel Insurers alone shell out £365 Million per year on claims, so you can be sure that holiday mishaps do happen.
There is plenty of choice out there so how do you choose what’s right for you? Here are some simple essentials to help you get the right cover:
- Think about how often you travel in a year. If it’s twice or more, then an Annual Multi Trip travel insurance policy is likely to be more cost effective. A good policy like Globelink’s will let you travel as many times as you like in 12 months. Beware of some Annual policies that limit the total number of days you can travel abroad.
- Think about how much your trip has cost so you’re not of pocket if you have to cancel or curtail your trip. Buy your policy as soon as you pay for any part of your trip so you’ll be covered if you have to cancel for an insured reason.
- Think about the value of your luggage, so you get the right level of baggage cover. You may be surprised at what it adds up to. Be aware of policy ‘single article limits’ – this may be far less than the value of some of your items. Check the ‘total valuable limits’ – your accumulated valuables could exceed this. Some valuables may be covered on you home insurance for all risk while travelling. Our advice would be to leave your valuables safely at home. You risk losing them and may make yourself a target for theft while abroad.
- Think about who you are travelling with and if they have any special requirements such as a pre-existing medical condition. Not declaring a medical condition could invalidate your travel insurance policy unless you have complied with the declaration requirements.
- Think about the activities you will do while away. Whether its archery, bungee jumping, black water rafting, diving or mountain trekking, check you are covered. Especially as you are more at risk of injury while participating in adventure activity. Globelink covers over 100 adventure activities for free.
Read also: Exclusions Relating to Health and Medical Conditions – Should You Worry?
What cover should I get?
This depends on what you need. Always look beyond the headlines so you get it right. Are cruises covered? Gadgets? Sports and adventure activities?
Ideally you want a policy with over £4,000,000 in Emergency Medical Expenses. Generally a decent policy covers:
- Emergency Medical Expenses for unforeseen illness or injury.
- Lost or stolen luggage.
- Cancellation or Curtailment (due to certain listed emergencies).
- 24-hour emergency helpline support.
What if I have already travelled?
If you have forgotten to take out insurance and have already started your adventure most companies won’t cover you. However, there are a few that will still offer cover even if your trip has already begun. Globelink offer Already Travelling cover so you can stay secure even if your holiday fun has already begun.
Wherever you travel always check FCO’s travel advice to help you stay safe and buy a decent travel insurance policy, or your heavenly holiday could turn into a travel trauma before you know it.
Read more: When Will Travel Insurance Cancellation Cover Pay Out?