The logic behind travel insurance is basic. Getting it will take a few mouse clicks and about five minutes of your time. It's that simple. And by getting the right policy, you will potentially save yourself years worth of medical bills and extras costs if something goes wrong.
But there are cases when travellers get a bit eager and end up overlooking an important detail or two. To make sure you are getting the coverage you need, we decided to create our own list of Top 10 Travel Insurance Blunders, so that you can learn from other people's mistakes.
10. List Your Children On Family Policies
Children under 2 are covered free of charge on some family policies, but you need to list them when filling out the quote form. Your policy cannot cover anyone not listed on it during the time of purchase. This may sound obvious, but people have forgotten to do so in the past and paid for it in the end.
9. Get Your Vaccinations
If you are going somewhere exotic that requires you to get vaccinations or take preventative medication before you arrive, make sure you have done so. Ask your travel agent if you aren't sure or check the NHS's list of worldwide travel vaccinations here. Aside from getting very sick, which is never good, you will be liable for all costs if you have failed to get the required jabs or meds before leaving. If you want an idea of what is out there, check out our Top 10 Tropical Diseases.
8. Stay Within Your Limits
With any sports cover, there will always be limits to what you are and are not covered for. If you are skiing off piste, make sure you have taken out a policy that includes 'off piste' cover. If you are hiking above the 2, 000 meter altitude point, make sure you have sports cover that goes up that far with you. These are all things that seem basic, but overlooking them when taking out your policy could be the difference between you forking out for a hefty hospital bill and being covered.
7. Business Coverage
If you are travelling with specialised business equipment making sure it is covered sufficiently should be one of the first things you do. Insuring your laptop, i-phone, Kindle, hired sound equipment and company cash-card is not a problem - as long as you have taken out a policy that offers you business travel cover to that extent. While standard policies do offer entry-level cover for business equipment, you may not be able to recover the full amount unless you upgraded to a more specialised policy.
6. Drunken Accidents
Underwriters do not view drunken accidents in a favourable light. If you decide to go for a ski after five beers, or you get into a hazy bar brawl with some guy whose face you didn't like and end up needing medical assistance, you won't be covered. Plain and simple. Your insurance policy is not a policeman who comes with you on holiday, but if you deliberately put yourself in harm's way you can't expect someone else to pick up the tab.
5. Declare Your Medical Conditions
If you are considering not declaring a medical condition because it may cost you extra on your premium, you are wasting your time by taking out any travel insurance at all. If you get sick and it has anything to do with an illness you failed to declare, you will have to pay all your medical bills on your own. You will also be surprised by the number of pre-existing medical conditions we cover without additional fees, as well as the scope of a medical condition we cover for a slightly increased premium. Our online screening process is non-invasive and won't take you more than five minutes.
4. Purchasing Travel Insurance At The Last Minute
Most people leave booking their travel insurance policy until the last minute. But if you book your insurance after an airline strike is announced, adverse weather disrupts flights, your holiday provider goes bust, any strike, political riot, natural disaster or a no-travel warning is issued for a particular destination, you will not be covered by most policies purchased after the announcement was made public. If it's dangerous, unstable or unsafe for you to travel there, you can hopefully understand why insurers will be less than thrilled about covering you.
3. Baggage/ Sports Equipment Cover
Sports equipment, baggage and cash are not covered by standard travel insurance policies. Airlines can be notoriously rough with your personal belongings and not overly generous when it comes to reimbursing you for damages caused. If you are travelling with a prized surf board, we recommend making sure that it is covered by the Essential Plus policy (or the equivalent of it) that includes sport equipment cover for up to £1,000.
2. Travel Insurance Is Not Worth It
Almost one in five travellers do not buy travel insurance, because it is considered an unnecessary and expensive extra. Please, please, please do not put yourself in this category. Not having travel insurance in the event of an accident abroad can be financially crippling for years to come. In the UK, we are extremely lucky to have the NHS, but healthcare like ours is not available throughout the world at such a fair price. A broken leg or arm can cost thousands to treat abroad.
1. Cancellation/ Curtailment
Because a holiday includes so many costs above and beyond your flights, you need to make sure your entire investment is covered. If your flight is cancelled or delayed to a point where you cannot go on holiday any more, you will not automatically be covered by all policies for costs already paid to hotels/ tour companies. From our Essential policy to our Superior policy, trip cancellation and curtailment cover is included.
An Extra One For Mums And Dads
This mainly applies to gap year students and boisterous young travellers, but all illegal activities are not insurable. If you decide to go cow-tipping, streaking through a city or anything else that blurs the line between legal and illegal, bear in mind that you won't be covered if something goes wrong. Hopefully this is the first thing that crosses your mind before you do something that could potentially cost you (and probably your parents) a lot of money.