Finding the best holiday insurance policy for your trip is important to ensure you have sufficient cover for you, your family and your belongings, wherever you are traveling in the world. There are many types of travel insurance cover available including annual and single trip, winter sports cover and special insurance policies for backpackers, families and business trips. UK travel insurance companies quote prices based on your personal circumstances and travel plans; for example being young, healthy and traveling to Europe – will result in lower prices when compared to older travelers in poor health traveling to riskier third world destinations.
Surprisingly, many still set off on holiday without travel insurance, without considering what would happen if they should fall ill overseas and need urgent medical treatment. But holiday insurance is not just about illness and accidents while abroad, travel insurance can also protect you against cancellation costs if you are made redundant or if the airline goes bust and you can’t get to your destination. Without the right travel insurance in place, a dream holiday could easily turn into an absolute nightmare!
Once you have decided on your trip you should then shop around to find the best type of cover for your needs. This will obviously depend on the destination, holiday type, your personal circumstances and whether you will be taking just the one holiday or multiple trips throughout the year. It is worth remembering that although comparison shopping is a great idea, the cheapest policy available may not be the most suitable for you – as always check the small print when it comes to insurance, making sure the product covers all your needs and fits your circumstances. The protection offered by these policies should include cancellation and curtailment cover, delay compensation, baggage and belongings up to £1,500, personal liability cover up to £1 million, emergency assistance with a 24-hour emergency helpline and of course medical cover for accidents or illness up to £2 million. These are basic recommendations and you can get policies with much higher limits, but you have to take into account the cost of premiums and decide whether the extra costs are justified – paying over the odds for insurance you don’t need is not a great idea! Be aware that with most holiday insurance policies you will not be covered for any pre-existing medical conditions, though you should to check the terms and conditions of your policy, remember also to disclose any health conditions honestly on the application to avoid invalidating your policy. There are specialist travel insurance schemes that do cover some pre-existing medical conditions, though the premium costs will obviously be higher and each condition will have to be pre-approved with the insurer.
Recommended holiday insurance companies online include JLT Travel Insurance , AA Travel Insurance and ERV Travel insurance, plus of course the insurance comparison sites such as MoneySupermarket and GoCompare.
If you are traveling to Europe, you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card which will cover medical treatment in state run hospitals throughout the EU, but this is not a substitute for holiday insurance and will only cover treatment in state-run hospitals and not include any repatriation costs. On the plus side, a European Health Insurance Card is free and many insurers will will waive the excess if you use the card.