Holiday insurance – don’t travel without it!

There is really no argument for not taking out holiday insurance. You only have to look at figures highlighting the cost of repatriation to the UK on the FCO website to realise the consequences of not taking out holiday insurance:

£35-45,000 – air ambulance from USA’s East coast
£12-16,000 – air ambulance from the Canary Islands
£15-20,000 – scheduled flight, stretcher and Doctor escort from Australia
Figures supplied by FirstAssist Services Ltd.

But as you will see from 24/7 travel insurance’s website, there are vast differences in prices for buying holiday insurance. So how can you find the best value holiday insurance policy for your needs?

Choosing the right holiday insurance policy
There are three main policy types to chose from; Single-trip, Annual Multi-trip and Backpacker. But selecting the right policy type depends on what sort of travelling you are likely to be doing and how often you go away.

Annual Multi-trip holiday insurance
If you are likely to go away more than once a year you will most likely be better off buying an Annual Multi-trip policy. Most Annual policies allow you to take any number of round trips during the policy period and are ideal for those who like to book last minute holidays and weekend breaks. However, don’t forget that Annual Multi-trip policies will have a maximum single trip limit (typically 31 days) and if you exceed this limit you may find yourself uninsured! So make sure the single trip limit is sufficient for your needs. If you are uncertain of your travel plans, consider buying an Annual Multi-trip policy for Europe only as you can always upgrade it during the year.

Single-trip holiday insurance
If you tend to have one main holiday a year, then a Single-trip policy is probably your best option. A Single-trip policy will provide cover for one specific trip and the maximum trip duration will vary from provider to provider.

Backpacker travel insurance
For those going on a Gap-year, the cheapest option is most likely to be a Backpacker policy which typically allow you to choose cover up a maximum of 18 months. Backpacker policies usually have lower cover limits than Single-trip policies so it is vitally important that you check that the Backpacker policy offers you the level of cover that you need for your trip before you buy it.

Don’t pay for cover you don’t need!
Some holiday insurance policies offer discounts for deleting certain sections of cover that you don’t need. For example, if your home contents insurance policy covers you for your personal possessions abroad you may not need the cover under your holiday insurance policy.

Shop around for the best holiday insurance deal!
It was not so long ago that purchasing holiday insurance either meant buying an expensive policy from the Travel Agent or Tour Operator, or having to phone around getting quotes. But now thanks to the Internet you can buy your holiday insurance more easily and, in many cases, cheaper! Price comparison web sites such as Moneysupermarket allow you to compare a large number of policies in just a few clicks. You can also buy direct from providers such as Insure and Go, Post Office and 24/7 travel insurance to name just three.

It’s also worth shopping around if you are seeking a family travel insurance policy as some providers such as 24/7 travel insurance offer FREE cover for children under the age of 18 (as long as they are accompanied by an adult insured on the same policy).

Travel checklist
You can find plenty of useful information on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website by clicking here.

Don’t scrimp on holiday insurance!
You may need to rely on it in the event of an emergency abroad so make sure you read the Policy Summary (Keyfacts) document and Policy Wording before you buy it. Check what you’re covered for, including any activities you might want to undertake. Not buying holiday insurance could cost you a lot more if you do get into difficulties.

You can get an instant quote and immediate cover by going online to 24/7 travel insurance and if you arrange your cover as soon as you book your holiday you will be immediately protected should you need to cancel your trip.

24/7 travel insurance offers great deals on all holiday insurance types and with premiums starting at just £4.38** it is worth a visit!

* Premium £4.38 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 and excluding personal possessions cover. Cover details and prices are correct at the time of going to press (December 2008) and are subject to change.