What you need to know when buying travel insurance
James Walker of Resolver on how to get the right travel insurance for you.
With Brexit all over the place, UK citizens are faced with the bizarre situation where some holidays are on sale at rock bottom prices because countless people are reluctant to book a break due to concerns about all the political upheaval.
Rest assured, as and when things become ‘clearer’ we’ll be giving you the best advice we can on your rights and what to watch out for.
However, if you’ve decided to just go for it and get away, it’s never been more important to get a good travel insurance policy. But what does that mean? And how do you know if it will cover you for the things you’re planning on doing? Here’s my ultimate guide to the things you need to know.
There are two types of policy
When you take out travel insurance, there’s a variety of choices but most boil down to single trip or annual travel policies. Single trip insurance does just what it says on the tin. Annual policies are worth it if you’re taking a few holidays in a year and it’s useful if you want to take advantage of those last-minute bargains, knowing you’ll be covered.
Make sure you’ve got cancellation cover
If something unexpected happens in the run up to the holiday then cancellation cover will pay out a sum towards the costs of not being able to travel. Cheap policies can exclude this completely, so never assume you’re covered. Cancellation cover isn’t for every eventuality. It only covers things happening to you or immediate family for example.
There’s a ton of terms and conditions
Some travel insurance policies can read like War and Peace. We’ve seen ones pushing 140 pages. Nightmare. This is excessive, but then travel insurance covers you for many more scenarios than other insurance policies might. Regardless, you should get a ‘key facts’ booklet that tells you the most important things, like excess levels and how to claim. If your insurer turns down a claim and you don’t think it’s fair, Resolver can help you make a claim – and the financial ombudsman upholds loads of disputes over dodgy clauses every year.
Always, always check the excess fees and the level of cover. In terms of the amount you should be covered for, I’d suggest policies that cover you for at least £2m for medical expenses/repatriation, £2-3,000 for cancellation, £1,500 for lost or damaged luggage and £1m for personal liability.
You’ll find that cover for things like travel cash is low, so keep your money safe.
Don’t give up if you’re high risk
There are a few things that can make getting insurance harder or more expensive like being older (over 70), pregnant, having a serious medical condition, travelling to a dangerous place or taking part in high-risk activities.
Don’t give up. There are brokers, charities and specialist insurers who can help you find cover.
There are lots of family insurance policies so if you’re going away with the kids, it’s worth opting for one. As with anything, if the kids are going to be out of your sight at a holiday club or taking part in an activity, check for suitable supervision as this may be part of the T&C’s. Family cover will also allow you to stay with a sick child in hospital or travel home with them if necessary – but usually only covers one parent.
Resolver can help you sort out complaints about pretty much anything – so why not help a friend or relative sort out a problem, get a refund or make a claim.
Check out www.resolver.co.uk and share your experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org
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