Addy and I have had several big long haul holidays since my divorce and this has meant making sure that I have adequate travel insurance for both of us. Previously we got travel insurance with our bank as part of our joint account but without this it meant shopping around for the best and most comprehensive cover.
This has been particularly tricky for our big two week holiday this year as we are heading off to Cuba for two weeks and all the travel companies advise you to have a higher level of travel insurance, particularly for medical cover. Eventually we settled on the gold level of cover with Insure & Go and an annual policy worldwide for the two of us costs just £50 which is excellent value.
Just what do you need to look out for when looking for a policy though? Travel insurance is designed to make sure that you don’t lose out on any money if something goes wrong while you’re on holiday – and as the infographic by Columbus Direct shows, there is certainly room for things to go wrong!
Whether you break a limb abroad and need to claim for your medical expenses, or you had to cancel before you even made it to the plane, travel insurance should be a really important part of going on holiday.
Travelling without insurance means that if you’re in a foreign country and you need medical help, you may have to pay for it. In the UK, we have the NHS, and it can be easy to take free healthcare for granted. Overseas, they don’t necessarily have the same services that we do, and many healthcare services charge.
If you’re travelling in the US, for example, and you don’t have travel insurance, a broken leg could cost you up to $70,000. If you need an operation or a hospital stay, this could reach the hundreds of thousands. Travel insurance can cover you for this, so you don’t have to pay it.
Make sure that the country that you’re travelling to is covered in your insurance, and the medical cover is £5 million for the US.
Baggage and Personal Effects
One of the most common claims on travel insurance is for lost, stolen or damaged luggage and personal belongings. Without travel insurance, you could lose your personal belongings with no money to replace them. You could be out of pocket by thousands of pounds, depending on what you had brought with you.
With travel insurance, you can claim for items that were lost or stolen. Some insurers even allow you to claim for delayed baggage.
Check how much you’re allowed to claim for each item on your insurance – policies usually set a limit of £300 – £500, so you need to take this into account when you’re packing.
Delay and Cancellation
If your flight is delayed or cancelled, and this isn’t particularly uncommon, then you may miss out on days on holiday. This means you’re not getting use of the booked accommodation, tours, activities and other travel that you may have paid for already. If you’re travelling without travel insurance, then there’s nothing you can do about it. If you do have travel insurance, however, you can make a claim to cover this loss. Some policies even cover costs incurred while you wait for you delayed plane.
If you have to cancel your holiday in advance (insurers only usually allow you to do this for illness or bereavement), then you can usually only claim if your policy has already started.
Even if you are holidaying in the UK I would definitely advise having travel insurance for you and your family. Touch wood I’ve not needed it yet, but the peace of mind it gives you for all the things we take when going away as well as the security of your family makes it worth every penny.