How to avoid a travel insurance headache

Insurance is as necessary as your toothbrush when it comes to travelling overseas. It’s there to safeguard us against the unforeseen should we need it whilst hundreds of miles away from home. Sounds great, yet thousands of holiday makers fail to read the all-important small print on their insurance policies before jetting off to the sun, sea and sand?

We check our passports are in date and that we have our favourite pair of shoes packed; yet we fail to read what could end up being the most important piece of paper we’ll ever have.

We buy our holiday, we agree to travel insurance, and then just forget about it all. Insurance policies aren’t rocket science, and really can do exactly as they set out to do; we just simply need to make sure all angles are covered before splashing the cash.

To help you in buying a travel insurance policy that’s tailored to your needs, there are several points you need to consider first.

How much am I medically covered for?

Travel Insurance can vary a lot when it comes to medical treatment. As a standard rule of thumb, you should always ensure the policy covers you for a minimum of £2million worth of medical treatment whilst abroad.

Do I need personal liability cover?

Personal liability is a must have in an insurance policy. Look for no less than £1million personal liability cover to safeguard you should you be liable for any accidental injury or damage caused to another person and/or property. A good pointer whilst overseas is that, even though you may have personal liability cover, never ever admit liability; even if you are in the wrong. Instead names and address must be exchanged and forward to your insurer immediately. Personal liability cover really could save you from one great big headache.

Emergency Help-lines

It is highly recommended that your insurance policy contains a 24 hour emergency helpline; for in such cases that you should need to contact someone urgently.

Cancellation Cover

We can’t predict the future, and sometimes the holiday we have been so much looking forward too needs to be cancelled. If this was the case, would your travel insurance policy cover any lost costs? Cancellation cover on policies can vary from a small amount to a substantial premium; so always ensure there is sufficient cover to account for all costs for the whole family. Cover ranging from £3000 to £5000 should always be taken as standard.

Personal Belongings & Baggage

During the hustle and bustle of checking the whole family in at the airport, you can easily lose sight of a bag or personal item. Most travel insurance companies set a limit on how much you can cover for lost baggage; and generally can be in the range of £1500 to £2500. Choosing the right level of baggage cover is especially important if your luggage contains items of particular value. Maybe you have an invaluable necklace in your luggage? Does your policy have enough to cover the cost of this as well as clothing and personal belongings? A quick check can make a great deal of difference when it comes to recovering your costs.

Lost & Stolen Money?

Whilst we consider lost luggage and medical expenses, sometimes we forget about such circumstances should we lose our holiday money. Being stuck abroad penniless is not fun for anyone, so checking your insurance policy covers you for this could mean the difference between a great holiday and a holiday nightmare. At a minimum, your policy should cover no less than £500 for stolen or lost money.

Don’t be a victim to misadventure and mishaps whilst on holiday. Always, always check the small print before boarding the plane!