Spring is finally here and people’s mood rising because the sun has finally emerged from its 6 months hibernation. I think we can now say the 2014 holiday planning season has officially begun. I like most people look forward to this time of year so we can start to plan our next adventure abroad and I have no doubt if you are reading this, you also will be considering leaving the UK shores for either a new travel adventure or returning to your favourite holiday destination.
For most people the important aspects of booking holidays are getting a great deal, ensuring passports are still in date and buying new clothes for the holiday wardrobe. However an important and often understated factor to consider when travelling abroad is purchasing travel insurance.
It is important to note that the EHIC is not accepted by every country in Europe therefore travel insurance should always be purchased just in case! Even if you intend booking a family holiday to the USA, tantalizing your taste buds with the foods of the Far East or even a safari in Africa then you should be aware that there are a number of benefits that travel insurance come with, that could be extremely useful to you over the course of your trip.
I think it is a good idea to look at all the insurance documents prior to purchase, most insurance provider’s show details of them online or you can ask for a specimen document to be sent to you. By doing this you can check the cover limits prior to purchase. What would you do if you found the cover you had bought didn’t in fact cover the trip you had booked or had in-sufficient medical cover for any pre-existing medical conditions. Yes there are a multitude of different types of travel insurance that you can buy but it is still worth looking at the policy documents, so that you know you are paying for something that is useful to you.
The following are the main types of insurance covers that you should be looking out for and it is worth looking around the market to find the right policy for your own unique set of circumstances.
Emergency medical costs
The main reason why you should buy travel insurance is to ensure you are covered for emergency medical costs, should you be asked to pay for hospital treatment if you fall ill or have an accident while travelling. I think most people simply buy travel insurance for peace of mind as they may already be aware of the huge costs that can come with medical treatment in some countries or who do not offer a reciprocal free health service. Having the right travel insurance cover means you are prepared for those unexpected expenses and can travel to the most obscure locations in the confidence that you are insured should anything unfortunate happen to you.
Cancellation and Curtailment cover
Cancellation cover is essential and could enable you to recover all or some of the costs of your holiday, if you are forced to cancel prior to departure because of illness or have an accident. You may have already paid for your flights, hotel or package with a tour operator and if you need to cancel, then you may be able to recover some or even all of the costs through your insurance. Similarly, if you are forced back to the UK due to a family bereavement or you fall ill during your holiday, you could use the insurance in order to recover associated costs that you have to pay out in advance, it is always worth checking the policy documents to ensure you have this cover in place.
Personal belongings and baggage cover
Your household insurance may offer suitable cover for your baggage and personal belongings and if so they may be able to compensate you up to a certain amount should your money, jewellery, clothing or electronic items go missing. There is typically an upper limit that you can claim for with each item, whilst there may also be a collective limit that you can claim for all of your belongings. Some travel insurance providers allow you to delete this cover limit, if you already have an alternative insurance cover in place and by doing this you can save some money.
Things to remember
Even the cheap conventional travel insurance policies can offer some of the benefits above for any holidaymaker, but their cover and limits may not be as sufficient as you may have hoped for especially if you have a medical condition. The covers described above should all form a standard cover and it is worth noting that there are specialist policies that can cover you for other things like medical conditions, financial failure of your tour operator and journey disruption / airspace closure.
Summer holidays are for enjoying and having fun with friends and family, they are not for worrying about what may happen if you become unwell while away or loss of money should you need to cancel. Let your insurance do the work for you and allow you to have peace of mind. Choose wisely though, as you may not have to pay out much for the insurance when you buy it, but you could be left out of pocket if the cover and limits aren’t sufficient for your needs.
Remember too that all insurance policies will have terms, conditions and exclusions, so it’s important to read the policy wording before you purchase cover.
Free Spirit travel insurance can offer all of the vital cover limits and more, to ensure every person that is named on the policy has peace of mind, they will be covered by our great range of policy benefits.