Travelling is not just about exploring new destinations or taking a break from daily life, it’s also about planning and ensuring you’re protected from unexpected situations. This is where travel insurance plays a pivotal role. Here’s a detailed look at why you need travel insurance and how to make the most of it.
1. Take it out as soon as you book!
The moment you confirm your travel plans by booking your flights or accommodation, your financial commitment begins. Taking out travel insurance immediately means you’re covered in case you need to cancel or postpone your trip due to unforeseen circumstances. This ensures that the substantial amounts you’ve paid for bookings aren’t lost because of events out of your control. It also gives you an idea of what the costs will be down the line if you choose to pay just before you go away.
2. Alert the insurance company about pre-existing illnesses
Inform your travel insurance company about any pre-existing illnesses you have. Additionally, consider the health of close family members who aren’t travelling with you. If there’s a sudden deterioration in their health and you need to cancel or cut short your trip, having informed the insurance company in advance ensures your claim won’t be rejected and should be able to set you up with something more appropriate for your situation.
3. Be aware of what your insurance covers
Not all insurance policies are created equal. Some might offer coverage for specific activities or scenarios like Covid-19, winter sports, or water sports. Before you embark on a thrilling ski adventure or decide to go scuba diving, ensure your policy covers such activities. You wouldn’t want an unexpected medical bill or a denied claim spoiling the memories of your trip.
4. Check for delayed or lost luggage cover
It’s a traveller’s nightmare – landing in a new destination without your luggage. While airlines do their best to track and deliver your bags, there are times when luggage gets lost. Ensure your insurance covers you for such mishaps, providing you with a daily allowance for essentials or covering the cost of replacement items.
5. Know your excess amounts
Bargain insurance policies might look appealing, but they might come with a catch. High excess amounts can make your cover less valuable. The excess is the amount you’d need to pay towards a claim before the insurance kicks in. Make sure you’re comfortable with this amount and that it doesn’t negate the benefits of the policy. If it looks too good to be true at first glance, it may well be!
6. Emergency medical coverage
Possibly the most crucial aspect of any travel insurance is how it covers medical emergencies. Hospitalisation in a foreign country can be exorbitantly expensive. Ensure that your policy provides comprehensive medical cover, including repatriation if you need to be flown back home for treatment.
7. Trip interruption or curtailment
Sometimes, trips don’t go as planned. There could be a natural disaster, political unrest, or personal emergencies. Check if your policy covers the costs if you need to return home earlier than planned or if part of your trip gets interrupted.
8. 24/7 Customer Support
In times of emergency, you’ll want a prompt response from your insurance provider. Opt for a company that offers 24/7 customer support, ensuring you’re never left in the lurch.
9. Take Out a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
The GHIC (UK Global Health Insurance Card) is a healthcare benefit card that provides access basic healthcare services when traveling within the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland. It replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for UK residents after Brexit. Some travel insurance companies insist that you have this as part of your cover (check your policy). It is free to apply for and it could be used without having to make an insurance claim. Apply here on the .Gov website.
In conclusion, travel insurance isn’t just another checkbox in your travel planning process; it’s a safeguard against the unpredictable. When chosen wisely and tailored to your travel needs, it provides peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your adventures to the fullest. Safe travels!
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