If you’re heading on holiday remember the insurance (Picture: Getty Images)
With summer on the way, many of us are entertaining thoughts of holidays, with millions set to jet off for sun, sea, sand and relaxation – or even a hefty schedule of sightseeing – over the coming months.
If you are planning to go away this summer, one of the most important things to do before you fly is to make sure you have travel insurance, so you’re covered should something go wrong while you’re there.
Having the right cover has become more important than ever these days in the wake of the pandemic – with some Covid restrictions still in place in parts of the world, you’ll want to have peace of mind that you won’t be faced with huge bills if you fall ill while you’re away.
And of course, you’ll want to be certain that other eventualities – from theft and loss to accidents or other medical emergencies – will be taken care of, in the unlikely event they happen.
With the cost of living crisis pushing up the price of everything though, many will want to try and save pennies wherever possible, and that includes ensuring that insurance won’t break the bank.
What that in mind, check out our tips for making sure you get the best deal when it comes to cover…
Organise your travel insurance in advance – the earlier the better
As with all of these holiday preparations, make sure you’ve got it sorted before you leave, rather than leaving it till the last minute – if anything you should be booking it when you book your flights.
‘Many people fall into the trap of waiting to organise travel insurance until right before they fly, rather than sorting it straight after they’ve booked their flights,’ David Parker, Divisional Director at A-Plan Insurance tells Metro.co.uk.
Make sure you’re covered for everything you need (Picture: Getty Images)
‘However, this means that you’re left vulnerable in the weeks running up to your trip, and can end up losing money in the event of a last-minute cancellation or delay.
‘Whether you choose cover just for your single trip or opt for an annual policy (which can save you money if you have a few holidays booked), you’re covered from the second your policy comes into effect.
‘This means you’re protected against things like losing your passport just before you travel, falling unwell and being unable to travel, or your airline operator going out of business.’
It might be tempting to go for the first reasonably priced policy you see, just to get the business of buying insurance out of the way.
However, shopping around can pay dividends – it goes without saying that checking the rates of different providers can ultimately get you a better deal.
And beware of sponsored deals as Mr Parker explains: ‘Some comparison sites have partnerships with providers to promote their rates, and skew the deals you see first.’
Make sure your policy covers what you need
While you want to get the best deal on your travel insurance, you equally want to make sure that the policy is right for your needs – as you could end up spending money unnecessarily.
For example, if you’re going on a beach holiday you’re not going to need cover for winter sports – which could save you money – likewise, you can cut the cost further if you’re opting for a staycation, as you won’t need to take out insurance against a cancelled or delayed flight unless you happen to be flying to your destination.
Not all policies will cover a flight cancellation or delay (Picture: Getty Images)
Bear in mind if you are holidaying in the UK it may prove cheaper to take out a regular travel insurance policy – granted you’ll be covered by the NHS if you need medical treatment, but UK-centric insurance policies are quite rare.
If you’re planning a second holiday abroad within 12 months of your holiday here, an annual policy you can use at home and abroad is likely to be better value.
Likewise, you may not need to take out cover for expensive gadgets if you don’t plan to take any with you – or these may equally be covered under your household insurance, so double check this before splashing out on gadget cover.
On the flip side, make sure that everything you might need is covered – some policies for example may not cover lost baggage, while others might not reimburse you in the event of a flight cancellation or delay.
Check out group policies to save money
If you are travelling together – or other family members are also heading abroad – you could consider a joint policy to save pennies.
‘Sometimes you can save money on your travel insurance by combining cover for your family members or your partner on a shared policy, as opposed to insuring everybody separately,’ Mr Parker says.
A group policy is worth considering if it’s cheaper (Picture: Getty Images)
‘Just make sure that individual circumstances – such as medical conditions – are still taken into account in your quote.
‘This works because covering everyone on a single policy reduces the admin and premiums needed to process a claim, and can also make it less intimidating to take out insurance generally, as you can tick it off for all travellers in one go.’
Check terms and conditions
Always look at the small print – and bear in mind that you may well end up paying a higher excess on a cheaper insurance policy if you do need to make a claim.
‘The deals displayed on price comparison sites might not be as good-value as they seem, as quotes with low premiums are likely shown at the top,’ explains Mr Parker.
‘But they won’t highlight how high the excess is that you have to pay in the event of a claim – costing you far more in the long run.’
See what your bank offers
There’s a possibility you may not need to take out insurance at all if you are already covered by your bank.
Make sure you have your peace of mind sorted well in advance (Picture: Getty Images)
Some packaged bank accounts – i.e. those which come complete with a certain package of benefits for a monthly fee -can include travel insurance, so you may not need to buy any.
If you are covered though check very carefully what’s included, as not all these policies will cover everything (winter sports, for example, may not be included, in which case you will still have to buy insurance before your trip).
If you’re heading abroad make sure your UK GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) or UK EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is up to date. This card allows you to get state health care in EU countries for the same cost as a resident of that country – meaning if it’s free there, you’ll get it for free also.
If you have a UK EHIC it’ll remain valid until the date of expiration after which you’ll need to apply for a UK GHIC to replace it.
You should note also that it’s not a replacement for travel insurance, so you will still need a policy – and you cannot use it in non-EU countries including Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein – while only certain people, such as UK and Swiss nationals, refugees and stateless people can use it in Switzerland.
You can find out more information at gov.uk.
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