Your Travel Insurance: What Are You Actually Covered For?

If you are looking forward to a late summer holiday now the schools have started a fresh term, you’ll no doubt be getting all the essentials together for your trip and checking them off as you go.

Travel insurance may be one of the items you’ve ticked off, but if that’s because you’ve got cover through your credit card provider, bank or home contents insurer, or because you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), we urge you to pause for thought and check what your policy actually covers you for, because in many cases, it will just about take care of the mere basics.

Emergencies Abroad Cost Tens of Thousands of Pounds (At Least)

Most holidaymakers will agree that taking a trip without travel insurance is a bad idea. But what many don’t realise is that the cover they’ve been given as an incentive or reward by their bank or credit card company, or the policy they’ve bought last minute by ticking the ‘yes’ box when booking a flight or package holiday, may not provide sufficient cover should an emergency occur whilst abroad. Travellers to European destinations also – wrongly – think that their EHIC will cover them for injuries or sudden illnesses, but this is certainly not the case.

Emergencies abroad can be incredibly expensive. To be returned to the UK by air ambulance or with a medical escort can cost tens of thousands of pounds, and that’s without any treatment or surgery needed before your return. It is not the responsibility of the British Embassy to cover these costs.

Think Carefully About Special Cover

It’s absolutely crucial to carefully check the full details of your travel insurance policy and not just make sure it provides adequate cover generally, but also take some time to think about any special cover you may need.

For example, a laptop or photography equipment that’s particularly expensive will probably exceed the usual limit for individual valuables. If you rely on spectacles, you may want to cover them for loss or damage so that they can be replaced whilst you’re abroad.

If you are pregnant, you will certainly need special cover, as is the case if you are over 69. And when it comes to pre-existing medical conditions, it’s vital that even the most minor ailments are declared otherwise you could risk not being paid out if you need to make a claim.

You’ll also need special cover for sports and activities considered ‘adventurous’, such as skiing, quad biking or paragliding, as well as added cover for sports equipment like golf clubs.

Here’s a brief guide to what we believe you should expect as minimum cover in any travel insurance policy:

  • At least £2 million worth of medical cover for Europe and £5 million for worldwide travel. This will deal with any medical treatment you may need, and your repatriation in an air ambulance or special vehicle if necessary.
  • At least £1,500 for lost luggage, money and valuables. Check your travel insurance policy covers baggage lost whilst in the care of the airline, as some don’t.
  • At least £3,000 in cancellation or curtailment cover. This will cover you should have to cancel or cut short your holiday, and should include cover for getting you home outside of your original travel plans.
  • At least £1 million for personal liability so you are covered should you be sued for causing injury or damaging someone’s property.
  • Financial protection should your airline go bankrupt.
  • Inclusion of cover for acts of terrorism.
  • A 24-hour emergency helpline for urgent advice and assistance.

If your policy doesn’t meet the above recommendations, or on thinking about it, you need additional or special cover, we can help. From single trip policies to annual multi-trip insurance and winter sports cover, we have flexible cover available with generous limits from some of the best insurers on the market. Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns about travel insurance: we’re here to help.