When it comes to the world of travel insurance, there can be a lot to get your head around.
Whether it's lost luggage, a cancelled flight, a stolen wallet, or an unavoidable accident, it’s every holiday-goers worst nightmare to need their travel insurance. It means something’s gone wrong.
But, in the unfortunate event there’s a bump in the road of your getaway, you’d want the peace of mind of knowing you’re covered, right? There’s no point in forking out for travel insurance if it doesn’t protect you though, so here are some pointers to help you pick the right type for your trip.
Types of travel insurance
There are a few different types of travel insurance you can choose from, and they can be pretty much split into three categories:
1. Single vs multi-trip
If you’re pretty confident the holiday you’re getting cover for will be the only one you’re taking in the next 12 months, single-trip cover is the one for you. But, if you know you’ll be jetting off two or more times over the course of the next year, annual-trip cover is likely the cheapest option for you.
For any avid travellers out there looking to backpack around the world for an extended period of time (insurers usually assume between three to 18 months), you’ll probably need a whole different type of cover. The names can vary depending on the company, but it’s some type of ‘discovery’ package you’ll need to look for.
2. European vs worldwide
This one applies to where you’re travelling to. However, the distinction isn’t always quite as simple as this subheading might sound.
For example, some worldwide packages actually exclude the US. And, some European travel insurance deals include countries like Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.
Basically, just make sure you read the small print before you head to the checkout. If it turns out the country you’re in isn’t covered your insurance will be void.
3. Individual vs couple vs family
If you’re travelling by yourself, you’ll obviously only need individual cover. If you’re travelling with a partner or your family though, you’ll have the option to put everyone under the same policy.
Generally speaking, this should work out more cost-effective - there is an exception to the rule though. If someone who’s travelling with you needs a special type of cover (because of their age or a medical condition, for example) it could bring the overall total up.
Type of holiday
Different insurance packages cover different activities. Some might include a bungee jump as part of their standard cover, while others might charge extra for it. Because of this, there are a few other important things to consider.
1. Adventurous activities
If you’re heading off for a winter sports break or you know you’ll be getting out of the door to do things like climbing, diving or white water rafting, pay attention to what the insurer does and doesn’t automatically cover. If your activity isn’t on the list, be prepared to pay an additional fee.
As with the types of activities, there can be policy exclusions when it comes to expensive items too. Some travel insurance providers don’t include things gadgets, designer clothes, sports or music equipment in their cover by default.
So, if you know you’ll be bringing your laptop and most prized designer sunglasses with you, be sure to check if you need additional cover - and pay particular attention to the maximum price limit for each item while you’re at it.
3. Work-related injuries
If you’re planning on landing yourself a temporary job while you’re away, bear in mind not all insurers cover labour-induced injuries in their standard policies. We’re sure you can guess what we’re about to say next…but just remember to dot your i’s and cross your t’s before you hand your money over.
A couple of other things you’ll need to consider, and which may affect the price of your policy, are your age and existing medical conditions.
Your age: it might seem unfair as it’s part of life, but the older you get (after a certain point), the more expensive travel insurance can be. For example, did you know, the average cost of a single-trip policy for people under 25 is £9.18, but that quote goes up by a huge 62% for people in their 60s, and hikes up again (to £36.60) for travellers in their 80s?
Your medical conditions: if you’ve got any pre-existing medical conditions these could raise your premium too. And for anyone even contemplating thinking about it, fibbing isn’t an option. If you don’t declare your condition(s) you run the risk of voiding your cover completely.
Making the most of a bad situation
If you’re being charged over the odds to cover your holiday and your medical conditions, all hope’s not lost. There are companies out there who specialise in travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions and you may be able to find a better deal with them - just make sure whoever you buy from is reputable and legitimate.
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