Why do you need travel insurance?
Travel insurance is essential for any overseas trip. At Free Spirit, we believe taking out travel insurance should be as integral a part of preparing for a holiday as booking a flight or packing your suitcase.
Yet, some people still go abroad without a travel insurance policy in place, which, as well as potentially putting their health at risk, can turn out to be a costly decision. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reports that in 2016, UK travel insurance providers paid out an enormous £369m for 480,000 claims to travellers who needed help while overseas – money that would have had to come out of their own pockets if they hadn’t been insured.
To help explain exactly why travel insurance is so important, we’ve answered some of your most commonly asked questions below:
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance is designed to cover you financially for the kind of eventualities that can occur before or during a trip overseas, such as holiday cancellation, emergency medical care costs from an accident or illness, and loss of personal belongings. A policy may cover just one person, or several people travelling together.
Travel insurance policies are specifically designed to cover many types of trips, including:
Single trip policies – for individual trips that cover the chosen destination(s), the timeframe booked and any planned activities.
Annual Multi-trip policies – for a number of trips within an agreed geographical area over a year.
What is medical travel insurance?
Medical travel insurance, also known as specialist travel insurance, is a type of travel insurance tailored specially to people who have pre-existing health conditions and/or disabilities.
Many standard travel insurance providers will not cover people who have long-term medical conditions or disabilities, or people over a certain age, whereas medical travel insurance providers like us specialise in covering those of any age with almost any existing condition or disability.
Medical travel insurance enables people who may otherwise struggle to secure cover to enjoy quality time away knowing they are covered for the often very high costs of overseas emergency healthcare and other eventualities, should they need it.
Free Spirit meets the eligibility requirements for inclusion on the MoneyHelper travel insurance directory, which the FCA has confirmed meets its criteria for a ‘medical cover firm directory’. We can provide policies that cover most multiple conditions so that you can travel with confidence.
Do you need travel insurance?
The short answer to this is yes! Advice from many organisations, including ABTA and ABI, recommend that every traveller should be adequately covered with travel insurance. This is even more important if you have an existing medical condition or disability, as you may be more likely to need access to emergency healthcare while you are away.
Without travel insurance, you wouldn’t be able to claim if you needed emergency treatment during your trip or if you had to cancel your holiday as a result of your health. A Free Spirit specialist travel insurance policy will cover your medical condition and/or disability (subject to medical screening) so that you have full protection both before and during your trip. As with all policies, terms and conditions will apply so you will need to read the policy wording.
Why take out travel insurance?
Since most trips overseas are only a week or two, it can be tempting not to take out travel insurance in the hope that nothing will go wrong. Sadly though, unexpected events like falling ill, being involved in an accident, or being unable to return home as planned, can interrupt a holiday all too often.
For example, if you become too ill to take your holiday as planned, our travel insurance with cancellation cover can mean you don’t lose all the money you’ve spent on flights and accommodation. Overseas medical and emergency healthcare is often extremely expensive, but travel insurance can protect you from these costs if you need care, say, due to your existing condition or in the event of an accident.
What does medical travel insurance cover?
At Free Spirit, we aim to offer medical travel insurance for people of any age who have almost any existing condition or disability. The ten most common health conditions our cover includes type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breast cancer, and arthritis, but we also cover heart conditions, brain, and cerebral conditions, mental health conditions, rare conditions, people who have had organ transplants, and people with disabilities, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and motor neurone disease.
Our medical travel insurance also provides many other essential aspects of cover for a trip abroad, such as cancellation cover, repatriation costs, hospital stay costs, delays or interruptions to your journey and loss, theft or damage to your passport, medications, medical aids, baggage, personal money and travel documents. Take a look at the full policy terms and conditions for the complete list of what’s covered.
What isn’t covered by travel insurance for medical conditions?
The full extent of your travel insurance from Free Spirit will depend on the level of cover you opt for – ‘Super’ or ‘Super Duper’. Each includes certain cover benefits with differing amounts of cover, although there are a couple of features that are only available with ‘Super Duper’ cover.
For example, only ‘Super Duper’ cover insures you in the event that your airline reneges on their agreement with you due to financial failure, or your trip is disrupted as a result of natural disaster or being advised not to travel to your destination by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
Your full policy terms and conditions will tell you what is and aren’t included with your travel insurance or feel free to give us a call on 02392 419 080.
Do you still need travel insurance if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)/Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)?
Yes. The EHIC is valid within the European Economic Area (EEA) – European Union (EU) countries plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein – and grants you either free or reduced-cost state-provided medical treatment in these countries. However, it doesn’t apply to private hospital care or treatment, and it does not cover repatriation costs to get you home again, so medical travel insurance is a must. You can apply for a GHIC online. Learn more about the GHIC card and how to apply for one here.
How do I apply for travel insurance?
Simply call us on 02392 419 080 today or get a quote online using our convenient and easy-to-use application process.
Please remember to have all your medical information to hand to assist you with the quotation and medical screening process.
Note: in some cases, a quotation is not available online and you will be asked to telephone us to see if we can provide cover.
How to claim on your medical travel insurance?
If you need to make a claim on your Free Spirit medical travel insurance, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know.
End Supplier Failure Insurance: +44 (0) 345 266 1872
Or email: Insolvencyemail@example.com
Gadget Cover: 0330 102 8698
Or visit our online claims portal:
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For all other claims:
You can call Roger Rich & Company on +44 (0)1608 641 351
Monday to Friday 9am-5.30pm except for Bank Holidays
Or email: email@example.com
Or write to:
Travel Claims, Roger Rich & Company, 2a Marston House, Cromwell Park, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 5SR
Or, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note – if you need medical treatment while abroad, you should call our 24-hour Medical Emergency Assistance line on: +44 (0) 203 819 7170
Or email: email@example.com
Remember to take your travel insurance documents away with you so that you have this number to hand.
How do I make a complaint?
If, for any reason, you feel dissatisfied with the service received or product provided or the handling of a claim, please contact the relevant team at;
Sale of the policy only:
The Customer Services Manager, P J Hayman & Company Limited Stansted House, Rowlands Castle, Hampshire PO9 6DX
Section B13 – Gadget Cover only:
Claims Administrators, Customer Relations, Davies Group Unit 8, Caxton Road, Fulwood, Preston PR2 9NZ Tel: 0345 074 4788
End Supplier Failure Insurance only:
Compliance Officer, Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe SE 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 3AW Tel: +44 (0) 20 3758 0840
Please quote your Policy Schedule number, Free Spirit Travel Insurance, reference: IPPESFI V1-21 and your claim number.
All other complaints:
The Complaints Officer, Claims Settlement Agencies
308-314 London Road, Hadleigh, Benfleet, Essex SS7 2DD
Tel: 01702 553443
Making a complaint:
If your complaint does relate to a claim, please direct it to:
Roger Rich & Company
2a Marston House, Cromwell Park, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 5SR
Tel: 01608 641 351 (this is a basic rate number)
Should you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint from PJ Hayman & Company Limited or Roger Rich & Company
you may refer your complaint to Lloyd’s. Lloyd’s contact information is:
Complaints at Lloyd’s, Fidentia House, Walter Burke Way, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4RN
Tel: +44 (0)20 7327 5693
Details of Lloyd’s complaints procedure are set out in a leaflet “Your Complaint – How We Can Help”, which is available at
www.lloyds.com/complaints. Alternatively, you may ask Lloyd’s for a hard copy.
If you remain dissatisfied after Lloyd’s has considered your complaint, you may have the right to refer your complaint to an
alternative dispute resolution (ADR) body.
If you live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, the contact information is:
Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR
Tel: 0800 0234 567 (calls to this number are free on mobile phones and landlines)
Tel: 0300 1239 123 (calls to this number cost no more than calls to 01 and 02 numbers)
If you live in the Channel Islands, the contact information is:
Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman, PO Box 114, Jersey, Channel Islands JE4 9QG
Jersey: +44 (0)1534 748610
Guernsey: +44 (0)1481 722218
International +44 1534 748610
Facsimile: +44 1534 747629
If you live in the Isle of Man, the contact information is:
Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme,
Thie Slieau Whallian, Foxdale Road, St John’s, Isle of Man IM4 3AS
Tel: +44 (0) 1624 686500
Fax: +44 (0) 1624 686504
Can my travel insurance be extended?
Extension requests will be considered but cannot be guaranteed:
– if you decide you wish to extend your trip whilst overseas
– if you are unable to return home from your trip as planned
– travel disruption caused by a pandemic/epidemic (including Coronavirus)
Full details of the terms and conditions which apply are shown in the Insurance Policy.
Subject to Underwriters agreement, we can extend a Single Trip policy at your request. This is providing you let us know BEFORE your policy expires and that at the time of requesting the extension you are not intending to make a claim.
Please note – this is subject to the total trip duration including the extended period not exceeding 94 days (45 days if aged 76 years or over), which is the maximum trip duration of the Single Trip policy. You will be advised of the additional premium at the time of the request.
Please contact us on 02392 419 080 to discuss your requirements.
Can my travel insurance be cancelled?
At Free Spirit we aim to ensure that you are completely satisfied with your travel insurance cover, but should you want to cancel your policy, it is possible to do so. You can contact us to cancel your travel insurance within 14 days of purchase for a full refund, as long as you have not already taken your trip and you are not making or intending to make, a claim.
Take a look at our FAQs for more answers to your questions, or if you need further information about any aspect of our medical travel insurance, please call our friendly UK-based Customer Services team on 02392 419 080.