Travel Insurance Explained

For most of us, when we plan a holiday it’s all about finding new places to explore and getting excited about all the things to see and do. When you’re looking forward to your adventure abroad it’s easy to forget about the finer details – no one wants to consider that something could go wrong. However, planning ahead and making a few simple arrangements like finding a house sitter and getting some travel insurance can help ensure you’re making the most of your holiday and ready for anything that comes your way.

Travel insurance is an insurance policy designed to cover medical bills, trip cancellation/interruption and other losses incurred while travelling. The insurance is usually arranged before the trip with extra coverage for higher risk activities available.

What is covered?

Most travel insurance policies cover the cancellation or interruption of your holiday. The costs incurred by a medical emergency, whether it is an accident or through sickness, will be covered. The cost of repatriating a body or the return of a child back home can also come as part of the policy.

Other costs such as lost or stolen baggage are also typically covered. Travel delays due to weather and missed flight connections due to airline schedules are usually covered as well.

Always remember to read the ‘summary of cover’ document when checking what is covered and what isn’t. Insurers put the onus on you the policyholder to check that your policy is correct, and if there’s something in particular you know you’ll need, make sure you find a policy that covers it.

What isn’t covered?

Generally, insurers do not cover trips to warzones or places where terrorism is common. Any area where the British Foreign and commonwealth office has advised against all but essential travel is not likely to be covered.

They also do not cover injuries caused by alcohol or drug usage. Medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes may also not be covered by standard travel insurance and may require a specialised policy. If you do not declare them and go under standard cover, then your policy is likely to be declared null and void – all the more reason to find a plan that suits your needs.

Single trip and multi-trip policies

What is single trip travel insurance? A single trip policy is fairly straightforward, and is booked just before your trip. It covers the exact duration of your holiday. A multi-trip policy, on the other hand, covers a number of trips within a certain time period. The latter policy is often popular with business travellers.

Optional extras

Many travel insurers offer extra insurance for different additional costs. It is worth bearing in mind that these extra cover policies will vary widely.

The types of extra cover commonly offered include:

  • Cover for participating in sports such as rock climbing and skiing that include an element of risk.
  • Travelling to countries that are considered to be high-risk, due to war or the occurrence of natural disasters.
  • Cover for pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or asthma.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
  • Protection against 3rd party insolvency. This covers non-refundable prepayments made to hotels or airlines that have gone out of business.

Catherine Halsey writes for a digital marketing agency on a range of subjects. This article was written on behalf of Boots Insurance.

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