Travel insurance is as vital to a summer holiday as a passport but more and more of us taking the financial risk by not buying the right cover.
According to the Association of British Insurers, one in four of us don’t even take out travel insurance whilst going abroad even though the cost of some overseas medical treatments can be more than the price of the average UK house.
Although many travellers assume to be covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it’ll only cover you for certain treatments in the European Economic Area which means your travel insurance is as essential as ever to avoid paying out the big bucks.
Buying insurance isn’t just a straightforward exercise either though which often deters many travellers. The are hundreds of options out there and the small print can be confusing and unclear, deterring many travellers from buying cover so make sure you know what you’re buying.
“Our latest research has found some surprising travel insurance exclusions that could catch you out on holiday,” warns Which? Travel Editor, Rory Boland.
“Companies that are burying tricky and restrictive terms in documents aren’t playing fair. If customers don’t feel they’re getting a clear and transparent deal they should vote with their feet and go elsewhere. Insurers should be making their policies easier to understand.”
So read the small print and consider these questions before buying insurance that could actually leave you owing a fortune.
You must declare any pre existing medical conditions
Pre-existing medical conditions must be declared prior to buying your insurance otherwise this could invalidate your claim.
Common conditions like Asthma or High Blood Pressure for example must be noted prior to the trip. Be honest about your medical history otherwise your past might give your future a serious financial fright.
Lost luggage might not be covered
The last thing you want when travelling is lost luggage but the situation can be made a whole lot worse if you’ve got the wrong insurance.
Many policies only cover theft or accidental loss by the airline but if you seem partly responsible from carelessness then you might not get if you’ve left your luggage in the hotel and it’s not locked up then some insurers might not compensate.
Your suitcase needs to be padlocked
Insurers like to know you’ve at least attempted to keep your valuables safe and that means having your suitcase padlocked.
Not all insurers have the same policy though so check with yours to confirm what is accepted as adequate protection.
An activity holiday requires specialist cover
If you’re hitting the slopes or the surfboard, declare it. If you’re injured during a sporting activity like skiing but haven’t bought the right insurance to cover it then it’s unlikely you’ll be covered.
We’re a nation of extreme sports lovers but every sporting activity raises the chances of an injury and if you’re injured and also not wearing a helmet for example then you might also not be covered.
You won’t be covered if you’re drunk
You don’t need to be going on a club 18 to 30 holiday to be caught out by alcohol. In fact most insurers won’t cover any alcohol (or drug) related incidents.
That means if you fall over after one too many Sangrias then you could end up forking out for more than a round at the bar.