The smarter holidaymakers out there always like to be insured when they head off on their summer hols, weekend breaks and winter ski trips.
Not wanting to be left stranded on the wrong side of the globe, or have uninsured jewellery stolen, they take out the right sort of cover that means they can get the help and financial support they need if anything goes wrong.
Many buy the cheapest cover possible
However, even among holidaymakers that make sure they never go away without travel cover, many simply buy the cheapest policy they can find, whether through an insurance broker, online comparison site or direct with an insurer.
But doing so means they’re risking not having the right cover for their holiday needs and could end up feeling less smug and sorted when it comes to trying to get home and making a claim.
Smart travel cover tips
Here are a number of key elements to bear in mind if you want to be smart about your travel cover:
Keep valuables on you – When travelling on trains and in planes and automobiles (e.g. taxis), if you put your luggage in the hold, rack or boot, make sure you’ve taken out anything of reasonable value first, such as digital cameras and tablets, and, especially, jewellery and cash. Many ordinary travel insurance policies won’t cover you if such items go missing, or break, when you’re travelling and they’re not directly on your person.
Don’t be careless with possessions – Travel cover generally requires you to show ‘reasonable care’ with your possessions when on holiday . So if you leave an expensive pair of sunglasses unattended on a bar or café table while you’re having a dance with the local senoras or senoritas, and the sunglasses are stolen or damaged, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to claim.
Stash the receipts and take photos – Most travel insurance policies need proof of ownership of any items you claim for, regardless of how long you’ve owned them. Ideally, this is in the form of purchase receipts, but other evidence is acceptable too, such as photos or user manuals for electrical goods.
Tell the fuzz – All travel insurance policies insist you provide a local police report for stolen or lost items, or other situations which might lead to a claim. This is often within a specified period of time, so if the incident occurs at the start of a 3 week holiday, don’t leave it until the last day to report it to the police. If you really can’t get a police report, for whatever reason, a letter or email from a hotel or holiday rep might suffice.
You might not be ill, but is your family? – If you’re insuring everyone in your immediate family, or even extended family, including grandparents for example, make sure you find out if anyone has on-going medical conditions, or are ill at the time you take out cover. You have to tell the insurer about this. If not, and they need medical attention and possibly repatriation due to their condition while you’re away, your claim could be denied.
Proof of cancellations – Keep all emails, letters and receipts from travel organisations such as flight and ferry companies as proof of delays and cancellations. It’s a good idea to keep your travel insurance provider’s contact details with you at all times so you can call as soon as you face a problem, explaining your predicament and asking what they can do to help, or require you to do.
Boozey failures – Many people assume they can get as drunk as they like while on holiday and they’ll still be able to claim if things go wrong while they’re inebriated. This simply isn’t the case. Travel insurers take a dim view of anyone saying they’ve had more than a couple of drinks during, or before, any incident being claimed for; so go easy on the booze!
‘Sports’ holidays don’t just mean skiing – If you’re thinking of hiring a powerful motorboat for a few hours of fun out in the Meditteranean, or going water-skiing or paragliding, you probably won’t be covered unless you upgrade your travel cover to include ‘high-risk’ sports. Most standard cover policies won’t include such activities.
Travel companies that go bust – Another assumption many people make is that their holiday insurance includes cover for the financial failure of airlines, hotels and package holiday companies. However, according to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association only one in six policies do. If you want such cover, ask if it can be added, or go to another provider.
Policy Expert is an online Insurance broker, dedicated to helping customers find the insurance policy that’s right for them. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. Policy Expert is driven by a desire to help you find not only the best value insurance, but the right insurance for your individual needs. For a Travel Insurance quote from just £5.93 for a single trip, speak to an expert today on 0330 0600 603 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 6 April 2017