Holiday insurance – don’t go abroad without it!

When you are planning your next holiday, whether it is a short trip for a week in Europe or a year long round the world trip, it really is advisable to make sure that you don’t forget to take out holiday insurance. Holiday insurance is not typically a large expense, but the consequences of not having it could be devastating and leave you severely out of pocket.

Pre-travel cover
One of the main reasons for taking out holiday insurance is to cover you in the event that you have to cancel your holiday, for example you fall ill unexpectedly and are unable to travel. If you arrange your insurance cover as soon as you book your holiday, you will be immediately protected should you need to cancel your trip. Without holiday insurance you will more than likely lose your booking deposit or worse still, be liable for the full cost of your holiday.

Be aware of medical costs
There is no doubt that one of the reasons you are going on holiday is to get away from your 9-5 job and to relax and ‘switch off’ from the stresses and strains of modern life. So the last thing you need is to fall ill or have an accident. But if it does happen and you don’t have holiday insurance you could be paying a heavy price. Medical treatment can cost thousands of pounds particularly in countries such as the USA.

The cost of repatriation
If you need to be repatriated back home to the UK, the cost of flights will depend on the class of travel required which will be dependent on the medical condition. For example, whether the passenger can travel seated or requires extra seats for a stretcher. It will also depend on their exact location and destination. Not to mention additional costs such as hotel accommodation for travel companions or medical escorts, medication, road ambulances and other transportation.

Example repatriation costs†:
Air ambulance from the East coast of USA – £30-35,000
Scheduled flight from the Mediterranean – £3,000-£4,500
Scheduled flight from Australia – £8,500

†Source: Cultural Cube

Those without holiday insurance will have to meet those costs themselves. Repatriation is expensive and at a time when the number one priority is to get home, you do not want to be stranded in a far flung destination wondering why you didn’t get the travel insurance cover before you left, so check out 24/7 travel insurance for an instant online quote!

What happens if your flight is delayed?
Imagine if your outward flight is delayed for a long period of time forcing you to cancel your holiday. Without holiday insurance you may not get your money back. Most Single Trip and Annual Multi-trip holiday insurance policies however will cover you for irrecoverable cancellation costs if you decide to abandon your trip after a long delay on your outward journey lasting more than 12 hours. Please note that the period of time that you can claim ‘abandonment cover’ varies from policy to policy so check the policy wording before you buy your holiday insurance cover.

Deleting covers you don’t need
Some holiday insurance policies offer premium discounts for removing certain sections of cover that you don’t need. For example, deleting personal possessions cover. Check your home contents insurance policy, as you may already have cover for your personal possessions while abroad.

Select the right policy for you
After deciding your holiday destination, the dates and length of your trip and what type of activities you will be taking part in, there are three main holiday insurance policy types to choose from – single trip, annual multi-trip, and backpacker travel insurance policies. So if you happen to be a person who likes to go away several times a year at the last minute to take advantage of cheap holiday deals, then taking out an annual multi-trip holiday insurance is the probably the best option. By doing this it saves you having to worry about taking out holiday insurance each time you book a trip, and, if you go away more than two times a year, it will probably work out cheaper too!

Backpacker policies are mainly for those who are taking extended trips typically up to 18 months. The cover and limits may be less than Single Trip and Annual Multi-trip policies, so you should check carefully that the backpacker travel insurance policy provides you with the right level of cover before you take it out. 24/7 travel insurance offers great deals, for example if you are under age 36 travelling for 6 months to Europe, you can buy a ‘standard’ backpacker policy for just £40.58!*

Know before you go!
The FCO have put together a useful travel checklist to help you plan your trip abroad and stay safe whilst you are there. It is definitely worth a read.

Better safe than sorry!
Whether it’s a short break or a long haul journey, you can see that it makes sense to have holiday insurance in place. Like the old saying goes, better safe than sorry!

24/7 travel insurance offers great deals on all holiday insurance types, and with premiums starting at just £5.32 ** it’s worth a visit.

* Premium £40.58 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an individual traveller aged under 36 taking out a ‘standard’ backpacker policy for 6 months to Europe. Cover details and prices are correct at the time of going to press (October 2009) and are subject to change.

** Premium £5.32 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an individual traveller aged under 55 taking out a ‘standard’ single trip policy for 3 days to Europe, travelling within 14 days of departure date, excluding personal possessions cover. Cover details and prices are correct at the time of going to press (October 2009) and are subject to change.