21 January 2009 by Anna Staford
An emergency abroad can be extremely expensive. If you need to be returned to the UK it could cost you thousands of pounds, unless you have adequate travel insurance:
Figures supplied by FirstAssist Services Ltd.
Remember: the British Embassy or High Commission will not pay for this.
The policy should cover the whole time that you’re away.
Your policy may also have:
Many insurers will extend cover if you ask them. If not, shop around for a special travel insurance policy.
Read more: Top 10 Savvy Traveller Insurance Essentials
Always check the conditions and exclusions of your policy:
A good insurance policy will cover you for cancelling or cutting a trip short. Check carefully to see exactly what you’re covered for:
If you accidentally cause an injury to someone or damage their property they may sue you. Good travel insurance will cover you for personal liability.
Travel insurance can cover a personal accident payment made for permanent disability or death.
You can normally choose the limit in your policy. Limits for single items such as cameras and jewellery can be as little as £150. Check these limits are adequate and realistic and ask if you can cover specified items such as a laptop or camera of a higher value.
You should report a loss to the police within 24 hours. Proof of notification will be required by your insurance company if you make your claim.
All insurance policies say that you must take care of your belongings at all times. If you don’t, the policy may not pay out.
Tip: take as much care of your property as if it were uninsured.
Do not rely on compensation from an airline if it loses your luggage.
By law, airlines only have to pay a specified minimum value per kilo of lost luggage. This is unlikely to cover the full value of your things. Your travel insurance company will deal with any shortfall.
Taking out legal expenses cover will help you to pursue compensation or damages following personal injury while you're abroad – very important in countries without a legal aid system.
We have temporarily stopped selling new policies while we implement important changes to secure continued Covid-19 medical cover for customers, both before and after Brexit.
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