Travel insurance: Holidaymakers must check for THIS before buying any policy
Travellers have been warned to check travel insurance policies thoroughly before heading abroad.
Though travel insurance is often a necessary cost in your holiday budget, some don’t provide as much cover as you’d think.
Financial information business Defaqto found sizeable differences in the 918 single trip and 943 annual policies on the market.
An air ambulance alone costs up to £45,000 in the US, but some policies only cover you for as much as £60,000 in medical costs in total.
This puts travellers at risk of having to hand over exorbitant fees if you get hurt on holiday.
A typical two week holiday for a family of four costs almost £5,000. But 19 per cent of single trip and 18 per cent of annual polices only insure cancellation costs of up to £1,000.
A quarter of single trip and 22 per cent of annual policies only cover up to £1,000 for lost, stolen or damaged luggage, which often won’t wholly recuperate your costs.
Brian Brown, Head of Insight at Defaqto, said: “Holidaying is meant to be fun and relaxing, but there are a number of things that could go wrong before or during a trip, and it pays to be prepared for the unexpected.
“If you are going away this summer, it’s essential to have adequate travel insurance cover in place.
“Travel insurance policies vary greatly in the level of protection they offer for certain nightmare scenarios – with some policies providing very little cover at all.
“Therefore we urge holidaymakers to check their policy carefully before jetting off and ensure they have sufficient cover for situations such as delays, lost luggage and medical emergencies to avoid more than just the holiday blues on the return home.”
Defaqto has advised travellers to beware of travel insurance pitfalls.
Potential issues to be aware of include:
- Medical cover – Make sure you adhere to the terms and conditions of your policy, as claims are often not paid if pre-existing medical conditions aren’t declared, or if an injury is caused by your own actions. Also ensure you have an adequate amount of cover in place, as treatment and other expenses such as flights home, can quickly add up.
- Cancellation limits – Depending on your type of holiday, check you have sufficient cover in the event of cancellation; you’ll need a higher limit for a round-the-world trip than for a week in Spain, for example. Insurers will also have different views on what counts as a reason for cancelling a holiday, so it’s important to bear this in mind.
- Proving a claim – Many insurers require substantial proof for claims on lost or stolen money or luggage, and missed or delayed departures, so make sure you gather as much evidence as possible.
- Limits on baggage claims – If you’re planning to travel with expensive items in your suitcase then check the maximum amount a policy covers for baggage claims – some limits are so low that you can receive very little compensation for a major loss.
The Which? study found £370 million was doled out to travellers annually, the highest figure seen in six years.