If you are thinking of comparing the market for travel insurance – and there is every reason why you might want to do that – it is important to have made your choice and arranged the cover as soon as possible after booking your travel.
The reason is simple. The Money Saving Expert points out that you might save yourself a small fortune if you need to cancel your travel arrangements before you go. Once you have paid for your travel, but then have to cancel because of an illness – on either your own part or that of a close member of your family – you stand to lose all you have paid, unless you have travel insurance.
What to look out for
When you compare the market for travel insurance remember that it is not price alone on which you are likely to make your choice, but on the extent to which any particular policy meets your individual needs and requirements.
Things to look out for might include the following:
- is the insurance tailored to the particular type of holiday you are taking – winter sports insurance for a skiing holiday or cruise insurance for a cruise holiday, for example;
- remember that some standard forms of travel insurance might not cover activities such as winter sports;
- this might include the reading of the small print, so it is helpful that many insurers publish policy documents online – make sure that any particular holiday activities, coverage for the part of the world in which you travelling is included and that the term of the insurance is for the whole of the period you are away;
- emergency medical insurance is likely to be at the heart of practically any travel insurance – compare how much cover is provided and note that some insurers offer as much as £10 million of cover;
- is there any age restriction on your qualification for insurance cover – some insurers impose a limit of 70 or even 65 years of age, whilst specialist cover for the over 50s often has no upper age limit;
- have you understood and answered as fully and accurately as possible, the questions about your current state of health and any pre-existing medical conditions – failure to do so might invalidate the policy altogether, so if you have any doubts, be sure to ask your insurer and err on the side of full disclosure when answering any questions;
- loss, theft or damage to your luggage and personal possessions is typically covered in your travel insurance – once again, you might want to take into account just what level of cover is provided when you are comparing policies;
- even though you arrange travel insurance to suit the holiday you are taking, remember that any insurer has the right to expect that you take responsibility for mitigating the risks of injury, loss or damage – if you engage in activities whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for example, or leave your luggage unattended, the insurer may be entitled to dismiss your claim.
It is important to compare the market before buying your travel insurance to ensure that the cover you arrange is the cover you need and that it represents good value for money. When making your comparisons you might want to keep the above considerations in mind.