Image by Alex Proimos, Sydney, Australia
Whether you're looking forward to some peace and quiet, or a fabulous adventure on your holiday, insurance is not the first thing you think of. Nonetheless, you could be in for some nasty expenses if something goes wrong with your travel plans and you don't have adequate financial protection.
Policies vary in their level of coverage, and it's up to you to make sure you are covered for everything you need. We've put together a list of some of the most important things to think about when you're choosing your travel insurance policy, as well as how to save money by getting the best deal.
- Book your insurance as soon as you've booked your holiday. That way you'll be covered if you have to cancel at the last minute due to illness, injury, or unexpected responsibilities like jury duty. Make sure you are covered for the total cost of your holiday.
- Check if your baggage, valuables, and personal possession are covered away from home or overseas by your home, contents, or personal possessions insurance. If not, then make sure your luggage and items like your phone, passport, and the cost of replacing the contents of your wallet (including bank cards and foreign currencies) are covered in case they are lost, damaged or stolen.
- Standard policies won't cover you for unpredicted closure of UK airports, stations or ports, or a closure of airspace like during the 2010 volcanic eruption. If you want this coverage you may have to pay a premium. Most policies only cover return trips.
- If you are buying a one-way ticket because you're not sure about your return date, make sure you take out insurance that allows for this. If you travel more than twice a year, you might get good value out of an annual policy instead of a one-off.
- Emergency medical fees can be extortionate overseas, ideally you want to be covered for at least £2 million.
- You may be offered insurance by your travel agent, or by the website you're booking your holiday through. The insurance offered might not be the cheapest deal available, and might not be entirely suitable for your requirements.
- Use a price comparison website to find the best deal that covers everything you need covered.
- If your planning any adventurous or dangerous activities on your holiday like diving, climbing, skiing, horse riding, mountain biking etc. make sure that this is allowed by your policy. Standard policies often won't cover hazardous activities. Also make sure any equipment you need is covered.
- Check your policy includes personal liability cover; legal protection in case you accidentally cause property damage or injure someone.
- If you have booked your journey in stages, as opposed to a single all-inclusive package, think about coverage for costs incurred changing your travel and accommodation plans due to a cancelled or missed departure. It is also useful to have insurance cover for transportation delays, such as airline and supplier failure. Often policies will include a small payout per hour delayed.
On your return, check the balances of all of your accounts and credit cards by logging into your free finance software, and if you'll be surprised by how much you've saved compared to previous holidays.