Assume that one travel insurance policy is much like another? Think again. Although it is hardly the most glamorous part of booking a trip somewhere exotic, travel insurance is a lifesaver if something goes wrong while you are away.
There is no such thing as one standard type of cover that will protect you against all eventualities.
There are many different types of policy out there, all offering different levels of cover. If you don’t match the policy to what you actually need, you could end up being seriously out of pocket, one way or another.
Assuming cheapest is the best value
The easy way to shop for travel insurance is to type your details into a price comparison site, and then opt for the cheapest. But the important part of any travel insurance policy is the level of financial cover it provides you with.
Cheap policies often give low levels of cover with high excesses. If you do end up making a claim, the risk is that you end up having to pay at least part of the costs anyway.
Not declaring medical conditions
Medical cover is a major part of travel insurance. The costs of seeking medical treatment abroad can be enormous, so having appropriate insurance is vital to protect you from any unwanted bills.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you must declare it when you buy your policy. If you don’t, your insurance could be invalidated.
Just as importantly, your medical needs should you need assistance abroad may be beyond what a standard travel insurance policy will cover you for. It is always best to seek a specialist bespoke policy for your condition.
Paying for single-trip insurance over and over
The most common type of travel insurance policy people buy is single-trip insurance, which gives you cover for the specified duration of your trip. If you travel regularly, however, there may be a cheaper alternative to paying for insurance over and over each time you go away.
Multi trip annual insurance will cover you as many times as you go away within a single year. Multi trip annual insurance policies are completely flexible on the destinations you choose, and the lengths of each individual trip. And if you travel more than a couple of times, they will save you money compared to the equivalent single-trip prices.
Taking part in activities you are not insured for
While you are away on holiday, you may decide you want to push the boat out and get a little more adventurous than usual. Whether it is diving or motorbike safaris that take your fancy, bear in mind this – your standard travel insurance policy will probably not cover you if you get hurt.
Anything with an elevated level of injury risk is likely to incur an additional premium on your insurance. But policy providers want you to buy up front to avoid people trying to add cover after they are already receiving medical treatment.
The best option if you think you might be tempted into something adventurous is to pay for a slightly more expensive policy which specifies a wider range of activities in the small print.