Travel Insurance: The Most Frequently Asked Questions

December 22nd, 2015
Travel Insurance: The Most Frequently Asked Questions

Read the most frequently asked questions about insurance policies on travel; see the answers, compare quotes and find the best deal to suit you.

Is travel insurance necessary?

It is essential to take out adequate travel insurance whenever you go away. If you encounter an emergency situation whilst travelling abroad, you may need medical care, replacement of stolen valuables or your expenses covered for returning to the UK. If you do not have proper insurance in place, you could find yourself liable for paying these costs out of your own pocket.

For further information, please refer to our beginners’ guide to travel insurance.

Are there different options for me to choose from?

Yes. If you are a regular traveller such as a businessperson, annual/multi-trip insurance may be your best option. If your trip away is an annual holiday, then single trip may be best for you. There are also policies focused on more defined areas of travel, such as gap year, backpacker insurance, over 65s insurance and long-stay insurance.

How do I know what is the best choice of cover for me?

Getting the right level of cover to suit your travel needs should be your priority, together with finding a policy that also suits your budget. Foreign Office guidelines recommend £1m cover minimum for European travel and £2m cover for anywhere else in the world. To help you work this out, consider items such as:

  • Cancellation costs
  • Emergency support and care
  • Medical cover
  • Stolen, lost or damaged luggage
  • Personal liability
  • Scheduled airline disruption
  • Support for legal issues
  • Early termination of your holiday
  • Disruption to travel arrangements

What is the best level of cover for me to take out?

The Foreign Office guidelines state a recommended minimum of £1m medical cover for Europe and to cover yourself for £2m for anywhere else in the world. You will know best what valuables you are taking away with you in order to work out the most appropriate cover you need for these.

If I am intending to participate in winter sports or higher physical risk activities whilst away, should I take out specialist cover?

Before considering extra insurance for these areas, it is advisable to look at your insurance policy and see if such things as winter sports or skiing and other adventure activities, that may carry a higher risk of personal injury, are covered or not. In the majority of cases, you will need to take out additional cover.

What cover insurance do I need if I am going on a cruise?

Standard travel insurance is not usually enough to cover cruise insurance and it is likely you will need extra cover.

How does an existing medical condition affect my cover?

There are some particular medical conditions that require a specialist policy or a higher premium. It is advisable to speak with your insurance company first to check this out before travelling.

Is it possible to obtain a family travel insurance policy?

Yes. It is possible to take out family travel insurance instead of individualised single traveller cover. It is advisable to thoroughly read through the details of your policy to ascertain if it covers you for your family needs.

If I am remaining in the UK for my holiday, do I still need travel insurance?

It’s a good idea to check with your bank first. A premium credit card payment or paid bank account may include travel insurance. It is advisable to be covered for valuables and personal belongings when holidaying in the UK. However, it is worthwhile checking your existing home insurance policy first. You may find you are already covered for items that are lost or stolen outside of your home.

What is the best way to save money when taking out travel insurance?

Whilst value for money is important, it is always best to look at the most suitable policy first before considering cheaper options. However, there are some good money saving tips that are useful to consider: save money on travel insurance without compromising on cover.

How do I know if I am already covered?

Check first to see if you have a paid for bank account or a premium credit card. If this is the case, you may already have travel insurance. There is nothing to be gained by paying twice for the same thing; in fact, doubling up on cover can cause more complex issues if you need to make a claim; you may also find you pay an increased premium on renewal.

Can you explain what an EHIC means?

An EHIC is the shortened form for a European Health Insurance Card. If you are travelling to Europe, this card is essential for covering you for emergency health care.

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