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The Rundown: Travel Insurance. What Cover Do You Need?

Flip-flops, swimming costume, shorts, shades, suncream…

When you’re getting ready to go on holiday, travel insurance can end up being last on your list of priorities. As it’s usually only taken out for a short period of time, it can be difficult to know exactly what you need.

So, what does a good policy look like? Here’s the rundown on the Must-Haves and the Maybes.

Must-Haves. A good policy will cover you for:

  •      Medical expenses – full cover for the cost of emergency and medical expenses while you’re away. An absolute given.
  •      Getting you home – if you need to be brought home for medical reasons, your insurance policy needs to cover you for emergency repatriation.
  •      Cancellation / curtailment of your trip – the thought of having to cancel or shorten your holiday is bad enough, but not getting back any money you’ve forked out would be a double-blow.
  •      Missed departure – if you miss your departure flight, boat, or train and it’s not your fault (e.g. your car breaks down on the way to the airport), this will cover additional accommodation and travel costs.
  •      Delays – if your travel plans are delayed, due to bad weather conditions for example, your insurer will refund a certain amount.
  •      Travel abandonment – if you’re forced to abandon your trip and cancel your journey, this cover will reimburse your travel and accommodation costs.
  •      Baggage cover – if your luggage goes adrift and is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed.
  •      Personal liability – if you have to pay damages to someone due to accidental bodily injury or loss or damage to someone’s property, this will mean you’re covered.

Maybes. The following might be covered, but double-check:

  •      Dental work – emergency cover only, usually only for the immediate relief of pain.
  •      Money / cash – covers you for the loss of money, travellers’ cheques etc if lost or stolen.
  •      Terrorism – this would cover your medical costs and other insured losses, such as damaged luggage, in the event of an act of terrorism.
  •      Lost passport – provides cover for additional travel and accommodation expenses as a result of needing to replace your passport.

When arranging your holiday travel insurance, watch out for different excess amounts. This varies wildly from provider to provider. So, check the small print. The same for the number of days you’re allowed to be out of the country for any one period during the policy. Never assume anything – and always hang on to your receipts and paperwork, so if you do have to claim for anything, you have the evidence to hand.

Travel safe!