Travel insurance is often an after thought when booking your holiday but it can prove to be a great help if things go wrong, especially if you’re thousands of miles away from home when it does. Read on for some of our travel insurance tips…
1. Check the cover and small print before you buy
Many people assume one travel insurance policy is the same as the next but a lot of disputes arise because people think they’re covered and discover too late that they’re not. In particular:
- Excesses: don’t just compare premiums check the cover limits and excesses. If the excess is £50 per item that means you have to pay the first £50 of any claim for each item you are claiming for.
- The level of medical protection is adequate, particularly in countries like the USA where medical costs can be higher.
- What you’re not covered for such as pre-existing medical conditions.
- If you’re covered for lost or stolen cash and for how much.
- If loss is covered as well as theft.
2. Disclose any existing medical conditions
Your travel insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurer based upon “utmost good faith”. This requires you to disclose anything that may affect the acceptance or terms of a policy, any exclusions or its price.
Be completely open and honest about your medical history and the activities you’re likely to be involved in, whether you think they’re hazardous or not. A good rule of thumb is; if in doubt declare it anyway.
3. Take a copy of the policy documents
Most good policy documents will tell you the claim procedures to follow in the event of theft or loss, what you are covered for and most importantly who to call in an emergency.
4. Document any expensive items
Take photo’s and keep receipts for expensive items such as jewellery or cameras you plan to take with you on holiday.
5. Report any thefts or losses quickly
If your possessions are lost or stolen, report it immediately to the local police. Get an accident report number or similar documentary proof that you’ve reported the loss and if you’re on a package holiday, report the theft/loss to the hotel or travel rep.
If your bag is lost, stolen or damaged at the airport, report it immediately and get a receipt from the airline or baggage handler.
6. Get the right documents ready
The old E111 forms have now been replaced by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which entitles the holder to free medical treatment within the EU but remember this will be limited to what is ‘free’ to nationals of that country and may not be as comprehensive as the NHS in the UK.
Before you leave check your policy document or contact the insurer to confirm what precise steps your insurance company requires you to take in a medical emergency. If you have to buy any treatments or medicines, again keep receipts and original prescriptions if possible.
7. If you need to claim
Submit all supporting documentation to the insurers (keeping copies for yourself) as evidence of your claims. You should send in any receipts, photographs and copies of any police or medical reports you have to support your claim.
Don’t forget to pack travel insurance!
Carry your travel insurance documentation with you on holiday and keep the 24 hour emergency assistance number on you at all times along with your policy number. Call us for an instant 24/7 travel insurance quote, for just £5.91* 24/7 travel insurance will cover you for a 3-day trip to Europe!
*Premium £5.91 includes Insurance Premium Tax; based on an individual traveller aged under 55 taking out a Standard single-trip policy for 3 days in Europe including personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (September 2009) and are subject to change.