The holiday season is nearly upon us – in fact if you haven’t got children it may well have started already – but in any event airports, ferry terminals and the Channel Tunnel will all be busy as thousands embark on the great summer get away.
One of the main purposes of going on holiday is to escape from it all and get some hard-won relaxation. One of main ways of achieving that is to have peace of mind when you travel, and one of the main ways of achieving that is to ensure that you have the right quantity and quality of travel insurance. Here’s a brief Your Money guide to help you pick the right type.
Firstly, what are you going to do? All insurances are not the same so if you’re planning a sedentary holiday by the pool or one that involves para gliding, you’ll need very different cover.
Bear in mind that if you’re doing the former and in a fit of enthusiasm decide on a spot of the latter that you may not be covered, so check the small print before you strap yourself in.
And don’t think it’s just the obviously dangerous activities that are excluded. Something as innocuous as hiring a moped might not be covered.
As with all insurances, price should not be your only consideration. There’s very little point in going for the cheapest cover if it doesn’t meet your needs. Ensure there is sufficient medical expenses, personal liability, cancellation, baggage and cash cover. As an example, medical expenses cover should be around £2 million, with personal liability cover of £1 million.
And check the excess. Just because you’re being insured while you’re doing something fun doesn’t mean that the mechanics work differently. You’ll have to pay a certain amount should you make a claim.
Tell your insurer the truth when you fill in the form. Remember that companies have people whose job it is to see that your claim gets refused. They will investigate and if they come across the slightest whiff of a ‘pre-existing medical condition,’ then they will do their best to wriggle out of making a payment. Pregnancy and age can also have an effect on the cost.
And bear in mind that your insurance company may well take a dim view if you have an accident after you’ve been drinking, so be sensible.
Don’t think that if you holiday in the UK, travel insurance is not for you. Many home insurance policies will cover your belongings, cash and credit cards away from your main residence but it’s worth checking before you go rather than after the event.
Of course there’s not just you to worry about. Going on holiday with the family means taking extra care with the insurance. Be sure your policy covers children travelling without you, or one parent having to stay with them if they fall ill and can’t make the scheduled return trip.
And airlines, hotels, car hire companies can all go bust, particularly at the moment, so make sure that the money that the company will pay out at least comes close to covering the cost of the holiday.
Try and avoid buying cover from the same people who sold you the holiday. There’s usually a trade-off between cost and convenience and travel insurance is no exception.
Taking the car abroad? Check with your insurance company before you go. Some automatically offer cover for driving outside the UK and some don’t. It’s normally cheaper to pay an extra sum to your existing insurer than take out a new policy.
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