Travel Insurance Questions

Top 12 Travel Insurance Questions Answered

10 April 2018

Travel Insurance Tips

Travel insurance may be the last thing on your mind when booking your next trip to explore the world, but it’s an absolute “must”. Finding the right cover however, can be confusing with the mind-boggling choice available.

There are certain universal aspects common to most travel insurance policies, but terms vary significantly and the most expensive policy isn’t necessarily the best, so always shop around and compare travel insurance prices and read the terms carefully to ensure the cover suits your particular needs. Here are all the essentials - plus some of your toughest travel insurance questions answered:

1. How do I choose travel insurance?

  • Start with how often do you plan to travel in the next 12 months and how long will each trip be? If you take 2 or more trips, an Annual Multi Trip policy may be the best option for you, or if you are travelling for several months at a time, try comparing ‘long-stay’ / globe-trekker products.
  • How much will each trip cost and what luggage will you take? This is important so that you chose a policy with the right level of cancellation, curtailment, and baggage benefits – so you are not out of pocket if you have to cancel your trip, or your luggage is lost or stolen.
Choose travel insurance

2. What travel insurance cover should I get?

This depends on what you need. Check beneath the headlines to ensure you get it right. Are Cruises covered? What about sports and adventure activities? Your gadgets? Ideally opt for a policy with over £4 million in Emergency Medical Expenses. Generally, most policies cover:

  • 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.

3. What if I have a medical condition?

Traveller with medical conditions

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it’s essential that you check and comply with the rules the travel insurance company sets out for customers with pre-existing medical conditions. It may be tougher, or more expensive for you to buy insurance that includes cover for your pre-existing conditions, but there are now more providers than ever offering cover. Most companies have ‘accepted medical conditions’ lists, or a number to call and check. NEVER withhold details of a pre-existing condition, or this could invalidate your policy.

4. What if I have Already Travelled?

What if you have forgotten to take out insurance and have already started your adventure? Most companies won’t provide cover after you have already left UK home, however, there are a few that will still offer cover even if your trip has already begun. Search ‘already travelled’ to check your options.

5. Can I take out travel insurance with two different companies when on a long trip?

Choosing travel insurance

Most Travel Insurance Policies will not allow you to purchase cover for only part of a trip, so ideally find one policy that covers you for the full duration of your travel. Some policies can cover you for long duration trips up to a year and allow you to extend cover once you have purchased (subject to terms and conditions).

6. Does it matter if I’m insured by more than one company?

Sometimes you may find that you are insured twice (eg: your bank, or employer may provide cover too). It’s not ideal as you may be paying twice, so check beforehand. Also, if something happens and you want to claim, you won’t be able to claim on both! Most travel insurance policies have a ‘claims contribution’ clause whereby they can look to other policies for a contribution towards a claim pay-out. Here are some Do’s and Dont’s for Making a Successful Travel Insurance Claim.

7. Will travel insurance cover cancellation due to urgent work?

Urgent message

The answer is probably not. Unsurprisingly, Travel Insurance won’t usually cover you if something urgent crops up at work. However, some policies do cover trip Cancellation or Curtailment if a close business associate becomes seriously ill, or dies. This is usually contingent on the colleagues absence from work at the same time as yours preventing the proper continuation of the business.

8. What cancellation reasons are covered by travel insurance?

In short, they vary, so check the ‘Cancellation and Curtailment’ Section. You are usually covered for travel and accommodation costs you have pre-paid if there’s an unforeseen event, like death or serious illness of anyone on the policy, or a close relative or business associate; redundancy; the police or authorities need you; or if your leave is cancelled as a member of the Armed Forces, police, nursing or ambulance services.

9. Does travel insurance require travel vaccinations?

Vaccination

Most policies require you to act responsibly; take reasonable precautions and to observe travel advice provided by a recognised Government body (eg: FCO). So it’s always best to ensure that you have the recommended and required vaccinations for your trip.

10. Does travel insurance have alcohol exclusions?

Most policies have an alcohol exclusion of some description and require you to act responsibly and avoid wilful exposure to peril. Avoid the risk of having a claim declined and drink responsibly. Be aware of other Common Factors that Void Travel Insurance Claims.

11. What is the difference between health insurance and travel insurance?

Traveller

Travel insurance is designed for holidays or trips abroad (usually shorter term) covering unforeseen events, like cancellation, curtailment, baggage loss and theft and emergency medical treatment. Whereas health insurance is designed for longer term placements away from home and covers more routine check-ups, elective and ongoing medical treatment, such as continuing treatment of health conditions.

Read these Top Tips on Luggage Security when Travelling

12. Why Does Age Affect Travel Insurance Rates?

Travel Insurance is often priced in age bands and tends to get more expensive, the older you get. Typically, the over 60’s fall into higher price brackets. That’s because with age there is a greater likelihood of having pre-existing health and medical issues and these are more likely to become more sever, the older you are. So you are more at risk of having a problem which leads to a claim on your travel insurance. Many companies cover certain pre-existing medical conditions as standard, or offer additional cover for pre-existing medical conditions, so always check the terms before you buy, whatever your age. It could cost you thousands in medical expenses if you don’t.

In a nutshell, always consider taking out travel insurance. It will save you a lot of stress and save you a fortune if things go wrong. Especially as it’s so easy to compare prices and products, why wouldn’t you?

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