The Government has said that your EHIC card won’t be valid after Brexit! This means that it’s even more important than before to make sure that you’ve got proper travel insurance when travelling abroad. We think that thousands of policies are either being mis-sold or sold with unfair terms and conditions. We’ve put together this guide to making sure you’re covered.
Sports holidays? Adventure holidays? We’ve heard some travel insurance horror stories.
The worst thing you can do is to make assumptions about what’s covered and what isn’t.
Check that your activity is definitely covered!
If it isn’t mentioned in the policy at all, get written confirmation that it’s covered. You don’t want to get caught out abroad and face massive bills.
Pay particular attention if you’re planning on going snow-mobiling, sledding or trekking. Many snowsports policies don’t cover these activities!
Always make sure you declare any pre-existing medical conditions. Be aware that an insurer’s definition of a “pre-existing medical condition” may be more complicated than you’d think.
If you’ve had symptoms of something before you took your insurance out, it’ll count as a pre-existing condition. This is the case even if the condition wasn’t diagnosed yet!
We’ve heard from Resolver users who’ve had their claims rejected because their insurer has spotted old visits to the doctor that they consider to be connected to a condition. This is something to be aware of when taking out a policy!
If the way you’ve been treated doesn’t match up with the terms and conditions of your policy, you might have been sold a policy with unfair terms and conditions that don’t reveal the limits of your cover.
People are often caught out by limits on baggage cover. Even where baggage cover is offered as an optional add-on, the maximum you can claim might be low! It’s always worth considering whether your baggage cover is worth it. We think that the extent of your cover should always be made clear – and if it wasn’t, you were probably mis-sold the cover!
Most travel insurance policies won’t pay out if you leave your belongings “unattended”. This means that if something is stolen out of your car while it’s unlocked, you won’t be covered.
Some insurers will even refuse to pay out if you’ve kept valuables in your car boot! If your car boot is broken into without any visible damage, you may be in trouble. Insurers can claim that you’ve left your boot unlocked – and you won’t get a payout!
We think that your insurance policy should always set out the exact conditions for a payout. You shouldn’t have to guess as to whether you’ll be covered for theft!
Insurance companies may not pay out if you’ve been drinking – especially if it leads to an accident that could’ve otherwise been prevented.
We think that some types of holiday cover that prohibit drinking are pretty unfair – if you’re being insured for a cruise that offers free booze, for example, it’s pretty unreasonable to expect you not to drink if you want to.
It’s worth knowing that some travel insurance policies won’t cover you if you aren’t travelling abroad. You can generally expect this to be made clear in the T&Cs. If it wasn’t, you may have been mis-sold the policy!
This one is pretty outrageous. Most policies will cover you for items you’ve left in a safe, secure place. However, if your hotel room is only locked with a key card some insurers will consider it unsafe! You won’t be able to get a pay-out if your belongings are stolen.
We think this should be made clear in your policy. If it isn’t, make sure you ask your policy provider! There’s nothing better than peace of mind.
Always check exactly what your add-on insurance covers – there’s a good chance that it will only cover the bare minimum.
Loads of policies offered by major travel companies will only cover you in incidents of cancellation.
If they do cover things like lost or damaged baggage, they may have a maximum cover lower than what you’d normally expect.
Just because your insurance policy has terms and conditions, doesn’t mean they’re fair or they should be used to avoid paying out.
You can always make a complaint and you can go to the free Financial Ombudsman if you’re unhappy.
The Ombudsman frequently overturns decisions where dodgy T&C’s have been used to avoid paying out.