Travel insurance – it’s not all the same

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Not all travel insurance is the same

Just because it is called travel insurance does not mean it is the policy you need.

An easy mistake is to buy what you think is the cheapest policy or to take the easy option and sign up for the insurance package offered by your tour operator or to buy through a no-frills airline website. Not only do you risk spending over the odds, but you could be buying a mediocre policy that doesn’t provide adequate cover and isn’t best suited to your needs.

Sorry to be a pain, but if you need to claim you will be very pleased you got it right.

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You should weigh up policies using these tips:

  • Annual cover might be cheaper. Specialist insurers offer a week’s cover for Europe at around £6, compared to just over £20 for annual cover, so buy multi-trip if travelling regularly.
  • Check carefully as to what is included. Policies don’t automatically include winter sports cover. This may not matter if you’re planning a beach holiday now but what if you decide to go skiing later in the year?
  • Buying policies as a family or group should give you a saving, but please check the policy doesn’t specify that you always travel together.
  • Look for any excess, as a large excess can make a premium look falsely cheap.
  • Check your home policy and your bank account as these sometimes include travel insurance.
  • Have a look online as there is great competition, but remember not to buy on price alone.
  • Apply for an EHIC See “Health Advice For Travellers” (available from Post Offices, by phoning 0845 606 2030 or www.nhs.uk/healthcareabroad) Excess charges may be waived by your insurer if you have it.
  • Declare medical conditions as not doing so may void a future claim; and let the company know any health issues of close relations on whom your travel depends.
  • Check the countries you are to visit are included in the policy.
  • Read the small print. It is boring but it is the only sure-fire way to know what you are and are not covered.

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