Nobody goes on holiday expecting to fall ill or anticipating an accident that may require medical attention, yet we should all be prepared for this to happen. And when preparation involves doing nothing more strenuous than just taking out travel insurance in advance of your trip, then it couldn't be easier to act like a model cub scout and be prepared.
Here are a few great tips and pieces of advice to help make this process even easier and to help you put your mind at ease for the duration of your holiday.
If you are only going away for a few days and your holiday to-do list includes nothing more perilous than sitting by the pool or on a white sandy beach, then there is often a temptation to 'risk it' and forego the travel insurance altogether.
A whopping 42% of people who travelled abroad in 2012 did so without purchasing cover before they left and, perhaps even more alarmingly, a rather naive 16% were under the false illusion that the UK government would pay for any medical expenses that they incurred. Despite this, 10 people per day required hospital treatment whilst on holiday overseas in the same year. (All statistics taken from gov.co.uk)
Not only can you never be sure when or where incidents with your health will occur, that's also not the only thing that travel insurance will cover. Losses of luggage, cancellation of flights or the entire trip, and theft of belongings are even more difficult to foresee and therefore insuring yourself against these will make life a lot less stressful should they unfortunately occur.
Standard insurance will not leave you covered for any illnesses or conditions that you know about before you travel. Therefore if you proceed anyway and neglect to declare any of these, your whole policy could become void if you need to claim. There are companies who can provide special policies that will cover you for things like diabetes and so it's best to find one of these if necessary.
Similarly, your claim is likely to be unsuccessful if you have to cancel your travel plans due to something which you knew about when purchasing the policy. For example, if you lose your job due to an impending redundancy which you were aware of, and therefore you can no longer afford to go on holiday, you may not be able to claim. However, there are also companies who will offer specific cover for these circumstances.
In a day and age where we are constantly faced with little boxes which we tick without even glancing at the terms and conditions, the idea of reading small print is not something that we are too eager to do. After all, who wants to read pages and pages of legal jargon that basically tells you what you already knew anyway?
However, with travel insurance, it is worth your time to ensure you understand all the minor details of your policy. The extent of your cover can vary drastically depending on the company you use and the price you are willing to pay, and so there's likely to be some important information in that small print. At the very least you should be aware of what excess you will pay on various types of claims.
There are many different ways in which you can tailor your holiday insurance to your specific needs. The main ones are things like the duration of your trip, where in the world you are heading and what you intend to do whilst you are there. When personalising your cover in regards to the length of your holiday, you usually have two options: single trip or annual multi-trip. This is where you need to weigh up whether it will be better value for you to buy a single trip policy every time you go away or an annual one which will cover you for many different trips throughout the year.
Next is where you are going. Most companies will offer one option for European travel and another for world travel, but others may split this up further. Before you choose either option you should ensure that it covers every country that you are going to visit. If you are going travelling around Europe and so only purchase European cover, and then make a quick stop in a country outside the continent along the way, it could end up voiding your policy.
Something else to bear in mind is that purchasing annual European cover will mean you can only travel within Europe for that year. Therefore you will have to take out an additional world policy if you choose to go further afield later on in the year. In this instance, it may be a better option to just buy single trip cover for each holiday.
Lastly, there's the small matter of what you are going to be doing whilst you are away. Standard policies will cover your usual sightseeing but any potentially dangerous activities will require additional cover. This will include things like winter and water sports which are classed as higher risk. Always check exactly which activities are included, though.
Perhaps the best piece of travel insurance advice we can give, especially if you are still none the wiser as to what kind of policy you need, is to ask the team at Fred.\ Holidays to help you. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff can offer you some excellent advice and even sort the insurance out for you. Just give us a call or enquire when you book your trip and they'll get straight on it.