Detailed Guide to Travel Insurance
The days of travelling without insurance are over. If some time ago it was popular to book group tours with travel agencies that will literally plan every hour of your trip, nowadays most people organise their trips on their own, and don’t even know what exactly they will do on said trip until they actually arrive in the destination country. While it’s great to be spontaneous, it also means a lot can go wrong. Therefore, it is important to have travel insurance as it can cover you if you fall ill, get injured, lose any of your belongings or if there’s issues with your flights and hotels.
What is the purpose of travel insurance?
As mentioned above, travel insurance is there to cover you against anything that goes wrong while you are abroad on a personal or business trip.
The basic things covered by travel insurance are:
- Medical bills – if you get injured or fall ill while abroad, the bills for any emergency treatments can be extremely expensive. Most insurance policies will cover hospital bills for emergency treatments, emergency transport and your transport back home if you can’t make your original flight. Nowadays, most policies also cover you for COVID-19.
- Lost baggage or personal belongings – if your are lost or stolen, you will be able to claim money for them (you will have to check with your insurer what is the maximum you can claim). Most travel insurance policies will also cover you if the airline damages your luggage in any way, however, you will have to report any damages before you leave the airport.
- Travel disruption – this includes any delays or other disruptions such as your trip being cut short or you having to extend it. The insurance will compensate you for your additional expenses only if your plans were disrupted by something outside of your control (i.e. the airline employees have gone on strike).
- Cancellation - If something personal has happened and you have to cancel your tip, you can claim for the cost up to a certain amount. You will have to check with your insurer what are considered acceptable cancellation reasons but usually these are jury duty, sudden damage done to your house, you or close family member falling ill, your destination country suddenly becoming unsafe to travel to.
- Personal liability – this will cover any legal fees if you accidentally injure someone or damage something of theirs.
Things to look out for when buying
There are a few things you should be aware of when choosing your travel insurance.
- Make sure emergency dental treatment is included in your policy as let’s be honest nothing is more expensive than the dentist these days.
- When it comes to baggage and personal belongings not everything will be covered by your insurance policy (i.e. any cash left in your lost bags). You may need to insure certain valuable items (laptops, filming equipment) separately for your own peace of mind.
- If you simply changed your mind and want to cancel your trip without a serious reason, no insurance policy will compensate you, so if you’re not 100% sure you will make the trip when booking it, pay for a flexi ticket.
- Make sure you provide your insurer with details of any medical conditions that you have (i.e. diabetes, asthma, cancer, heart disease) as they may be excluded from the standard policy.
- Most insurance companies offer insurance policies based on location – Europe, Worldwide and Worldwide excluding USA, Canada and the Caribbean. Make sure your destination country is included before purchasing anything.
- One of the worst things that can happen to you on holiday is losing your passport. You may have to pay extra to cover you for lost or stolen passport.
- If your trip will involve water sports or winter sports you can pay for a specialist policy which can also cover your equipment.
You can purchase travel insurance directly from comparison websites, which are always a great option as you will be able to choose from tens if not hundreds of insurers.
Allianz is a popular provider who offers a policy for most types of travel.
Aviva is another common choice in the UK.
You can also purchase travel insurance from the good old Post Office – you can do that online or at any post office branch.
You may be also interested in Single Trip Travel Insurance .