Rest assured, as and when things become ‘clearer’ we’ll be giving you the best advice we can on your rights and what to watch out for. However, if you’ve decided to just go for it and get away, it’s never been more important to get a good travel insurance policy.
When you take out travel insurance, there’s a huge variety of choices but most boil down to single trip or annual travel policies. Single trip insurance does just what it says on the tin. It’s cheap, cheerful and often sold alongside packages or at airports. Annual policies are worth it if you’re taking a few holidays in a year (lucky you!) and it’s useful if you want to take advantage of those last-minute bargains, knowing you’ll be covered. It’s better for long-haul trips too and the cover can be more extensive.
If something unexpected happens in the run up to the holiday (death of a relative, illness, an unexpected event) then cancellation cover will pay out a sum towards the costs of not being able to travel. Cheap policies can exclude this completely, so never assume you’re covered.
Cancellation cover isn’t for every eventuality. It only covers things happening to you or immediate family for example. And if you’ve splashed out on a megabucks trip, make sure you know what the maximum payout will be. T&C’s alert! If you’ve got a medical condition that might affect your ability to travel, you’ll need to disclose this. If you don’t, then your claim might get turned down.
We’ve seen ones pushing 140 pages. Nightmare.
This is excessive, but then travel insurance covers you for many more scenarios than other insurance policies might. Regardless, you should get a ‘key facts’ booklet that tells you the most important things, like excess levels and how to claim. T&C’s alert! If a clause in the contract is ‘significant’ it should be in the key facts document.
If your insurer turns down a claim and you don’t think it’s fair, Resolver can help you make a claim – and the financial ombudsman upholds loads of disputes over dodgy clauses every year.
In terms of the amount you should be covered for, I’d suggest policies that cover you for at least £2 million for medical expenses/repatriation (hospital charges can be terrifyingly high), £2-3,000 for cancellation, £1,500 for lost or damaged luggage and £1 million for personal liability (in case you get sued for damage you cause to you, property or other people by accident).
You’ll find that cover for things like travel cash is low, so keep your money safe. The excess fee is what the insurers knock off your claim as a charge. The lower the excess the higher the premium. You can sometimes adjust and tailor this too.
There are a few things that can make getting insurance harder or more expensive;
There are lots of family insurance policies so if you’re going away with the kids, it’s worth opting for one.
As with anything, if the kids are going to be out of your sight at a holiday club or taking part in an activity, check for suitable supervision as this may be part of the T&C’s.
Family cover will also allow you to stay with a sick child in hospital or travel home with them if necessary – but usually only covers one parent. This can be distressing for parents when they find this up, but it’s pretty standard in policies.