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Travel Insurance – What Do I Need To Know?

Not everyone takes out travel insurance when they go abroad. For many, this is simply because they do not understand travel insurance or how it can be a benefit. It can be difficult to understand the concept behind 'insuring' a holiday, but travel insurance is a safe option, with enough flexibility to protect you wherever you go. Travel insurance has many options to ensure that you are covered if something goes wrong during your holiday. Booking & Basics It should go without saying, but travel insurance should be purchased as soon as possible. Whether you do it when you make your travel arrangements or you do it at a later date, it needs to be done before you actually depart.

Furthermore, you may want to decide between a single-trip policy or multi-trip cover. Single trip options will cost less, and only cover you for the specific journey in mind. Multi-trip will naturally cost more, and cover any travelling you do within a certain time frame. The difference here is to make sure this saves money in the long run. A typical, basic, annual cover may cost £60, but it could be cheaper than paying £20 on four different trips within the year. Basic Cover Travel insurance can be quite varied, as it comes with a multitude of options, but there are a few basics that should always be included. Travel insurance should cover expenses in case of cancellations or interruptions. As for other delays, the reasons will affect whether it’s included in the policy. Standard travel insurance options will cover departure delays or cancellations, as well as those relating to the individual airlines. Likewise, any delays caused by the weather may also be included.

Whether you are compensated may depend on the length of delay, but any period of waiting over 12 hours is usually sufficient. In terms of cancellations, your policy will cover the finances you lost on the holiday, but within reason. A basic policy will generally cover you for a number of reasons, such as a death in the immediate family or the loss of employment, as well as other means that make the holiday financially unsound. This is where you need to read the fine print, as the exact details will vary and you need to know what is and isn't covered. Medical One of the more important reasons to insure your travels, decent medical cover will provide you with the safety of receiving treatment as well as being able to cover the costs. A medical-based insurance option in this regard should be willing to cover you in a number of medical emergencies and accidents. The range and level of cover can vary, so it’s up to you to decide how much you need. Trips with a higher chance of accidents, such as winter sports, will often have a higher premium, so bare this in mind. Depending on where you are visiting, medical costs can mount up. In America, for example, you could be charged $1000 or more for the ambulance recovery alone, and extreme scenarios such as air ambulances are considerably more. In short, you should be covered for the types of fees that would otherwise drain your funds if left to you.

If you're travelling within the EU, then you should also get a European Health Insurance Card, or EHIC. Replacing the E111, this free card allows you the same level, and access to, treatment as the locals. If it’s free, you can get it free, too. Likewise, if they pay then you will be expected to pay the same. This is also usually further restricted to state hospitals, where the quality and standards can vary. Whilst not part of the policy, an EHIC card is often taken into consideration. In some cases, your insurance provider may even waive the excess if the card is being used. With studies suggesting that nearly four out of five British holiday makers choosing a European destination, it never hurts to have one just in case. Baggage and theft Not everyone takes this option, but the chances of losing luggage or having it stolen abroad can be quite serious. Having protection against this can provide an extra layer of safety. You should still be wary of taking expensive possessions abroad, however, as most providers will usually place a limit on individual items. This is usually £250 or £500, so you will not be compensated for any more than about that, regardless of your possessions’ cost. This covers lost baggage as well as stolen property and luggage.

In short, if it’s worth over the insurance limit, then consider leaving it at home. Excess Finally, it is important to take the excess into account. Put simply, the excess is the amount that you, as the policyholder, contribute to any expenses. So, if an excess is £200 and you need to pay £500, the insurance provider will only contribute £300. This is important because cheaper insurance will often have a higher excess. Whilst this still means you will be compensated in extreme situations, anything below the excess isn't covered. In the above example, anything below £200 would be covered by you. This depends on where you travel, but you may find a lot of the medical treatment and options fall under your excess, and therefore exclude your provider from the responsibility of payment. What's more, the excess can be applied individually, rather than as whole throughout the holiday. So, two different incidents will incur two separate excesses. In each case, you will be expected to pay your share.

We hope you now know a little bit more.

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