Travel happy – Get the best personal travel insurance quote and know WHY it’s worth it
From bargain breaks to dream holidays of a lifetime, UK residents took 65.7 million trips abroad in 2015. Whilst we happily buy new clothes or electronics before we set off, many still risk travelling without insurance. It might not be the most exciting part of preparing for your holiday, but rather than grumble about how much it costs, it pays to think about how much not getting personal travel insurance could cost you?
Expensive medical treatment overseas can add up to more than the cost of the average UK house according to the Association of British Insurers. They give the example of an eye-watering £500,000 to treat a multiple fracture and artery tear in the USA with a return to the UK in an air ambulance.
By comparison, the average cost of annual travel insurance is just £33. In 2015, over £1million was paid out for travel insurance claims, with the average payout for medical costs reaching £1,200.
And it’s not just medical emergencies that make travel insurance an essential for a relaxed and happy holiday. Lost luggage or passports, trip cancellation, and stolen money can all be covered for your peace of mind, letting you get on with enjoying your break away.
Counting the costs of medical emergencies overseas
Luckily, most of us enjoy our holidays trouble-free. But, unfortunately, accidents can happen. Comprehensive insurance gives you peace of mind that you can have the medical treatment you need and get back home again, wherever you are in the world.
Did you know?
- If you break your leg during a trip to the USA, emergency treatment can cost you as much as £26,000
- If you’re too ill to use a regular airline, an air ambulance from the Canary Islands back to the UK will set you back £25,000
What else does travel insurance cover?
As well as medical treatment, travel insurance can cover a wide range of other travel emergencies, including:
- Lost, damaged or stolen belongings or money – Whether you’re left there waiting by an empty baggage carousel when your luggage fails to arrive or you fall victim to a pickpocket whilst you’re away, losing your belongings can be traumatic and ruin your holiday. Travel insurance gives you peace of mind that you can replace lost or stolen items including cash, so you can get back to enjoying yourself. Bear in mind that personal belongings, such as jewellery, watches, phones and iPads, are not always covered abroad by your regular home insurance. Double check with your insurer first and take out adequate travel insurance if they are not.
- Trip cancellation – With travel insurance, you’ll be able to claim back costs up to an agreed limit if you have to cancel your holiday for any unforeseen reason, such as illness. For the best protection, take out your travel insurance as soon as you book your trip.
- Passport cover – You can’t travel back to the UK without your passport, so it’s a huge headache if yours gets lost or is stolen. Passport cover pays for all the necessary paperwork and associated costs to get Emergency Travel Documents so you can get home.
37,890 Emergency Travel Documents were issued to British Travellers in 2014/15. Losing your passport will cost a minimum of £167.50 as you’ll need to pay for your emergency travel documents and the cost of replacing your passport when you get back. Adding in the costs of travelling to the closest embassy whilst you’re away to get your emergency documents and the costs of a lost passport can be significant.
What sorts of travel insurance is available?
Depending on how often you travel, you might want to opt for single trip travel insurance to one destination or multi-trip annual cover. If you’re planning three or more trips away, annual cover may be substantially cheaper than taking out individual single trip policies.
You’ll also find different levels of cover, from low-cost travel insurance that covers you for the basics to premium cover with higher limits for claims. Talk to your broker for advice on the best policy that is tailored to your requirements. Make sure you’re not paying for anything you don’t need, but check that you will still get a level of protection that you can rely on.
Are there any restrictions on my travel insurance?
Every policy is different, so you’ll need to check directly with your insurer and be sure to read the small print. As a general guide, if you take a standard policy with Park Insurance you’ll need to be able to declare the following statements for you and everyone insured:
To the best of my knowledge, the following apply –
- Nobody is waiting for an operation, hospital consultation (other than for regular check-ups), or other hospital treatment or investigations.
- Nobody has received treatment, other than regular medication in the last 12 months for:
any blood disorder
any psychiatric illness
any form of cancer, leukaemia or tumour
- Nobody diagnosed as HIV positive has required treatment for HIV or any HIV-related illness.
- Nobody has any breathing or heart problem, which has needed hospital treatment in the last 12 months.
- Nobody has been seen by a specialist in the last three months (other than for regular check-ups) or been admitted to a hospital overnight.
- Nobody will travel against medical advice or to get medical treatment.
- Nobody has been given a terminal prognosis by a registered doctor.
- I do not know of any reason (medical or otherwise) why the trip is likely to be cancelled or cut short.
If you’re not able to make this declaration, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to take out travel insurance. It just means you’ll need Park Insurance to look for specialist insurance for you.
What happens if I take out annual cover and my circumstances change?
Every time you go away, you’ll need to re-declare the statements listed above. If the situation has changed and you are unable to agree with each statement, you’ll need to let your insurer know right away. It could be that your cover will be unaffected, or if you can no longer be covered by us, you can claim back for the cost of cancelling at that time.
I have an EHIC European Health Card. Do I still need travel insurance?
It’s definitely worth applying for a free European Health Card if you’re travelling to any member state of the European Union or Switzerland. This card enables you to access reduced rate (or sometimes free) healthcare in these countries and some travel insurers will also waive their excess fee if you use one of these cards. It’s important to note that the government state on their website that the EHIC does not replace travel insurance. And it’s worth remembering that this card won’t entitle you to long term healthcare and won’t cover the costs of repatriation if you need specialist transport to return you to the UK.
Adventure sports cover
If you’re planning an active holiday, you’ll need to specify what sports you’re going to do and double check the small print for any exclusions that may apply. As well as obvious higher risk sports, such as skiing, paragliding, and horse riding, there are others that you might not realise may also need to be specified, such as zip wires and jet skiing.
Things to remember for a stress-free holiday
- Double check you’ve had all the relevant jabs and injections recommended for your destination. Without these, your travel insurance policy could be invalidated
- Declare pre-existing medical conditions or you may invalidate your travel insurance
- Check with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for any travel advice relating to your destination
- Take your travel insurance details and contact numbers with you. Some insurance companies offer 24-hour helplines, to make it simple to get the assistance you need when you’re away.
Top tips to find great value travel insurance you can count on
- Think about what cover you need and look for a bespoke package so you don’t pay for anything you don’t need
- Think carefully about excesses. Whilst opting for a higher excess can bring down the cost of your premium, it could mean any claims are not worth making
- If your bank or credit card company deal includes “free” insurance, double check the small print to avoid any nasty shocks if you need to make a claim
Like all insurance, costs can vary greatly between providers. Don’t be tempted to just take the deal offered by your airline or travel agent. Instead, spend some time shopping around for the best deal or get a trusted broker like Park Insurance to do the ringing round for you.
Relax and enjoy your holiday with insurance tailored to your needs
Park Insurance is an independent, family-run, specialist insurance broker. We’ve been helping people to find the best value travel insurance for over thirty years by using our sector knowledge and bartering power to negotiate excellent prices without compromising cover. With our help, our customers know exactly what they are buying and that it is the right insurance for their needs.
Our cover comes complete with a 24-hour assistance service, so if something happens you can access help wherever you are and whatever the time.
Call us now on 0117 955 6835 or get in touch for a free quote whatever your travel insurance needs.