In all the hustle and bustle of saving, booking and getting packed for your holiday, it’s easy to forget to organize travel insurance for you and your family. You may be tempted to forego it under the impression that its just an extra expense, but don’t! Bags get lost, phones get stolen and people get ill. The small extra cost of insurance will be well worth it if anything goes awry. There are a few things to keep in mind when planning and choosing your insurance so that you can get the deal that suits you best.
Firstly, if your holiday is taking place within Europe make sure you have your free and very handy European Health Insurance Card on you at all times. This card entitles you to treatment at any state-run hospital across the EU. Just be sure that it’s within its expiry date and renew quickly if it isn’t so it’s ready to go with you on your travels. Useful as the EHIC is, its not a substitute for proper travel insurance, as it doesn’t cover extra costs of treatment that may not be free, theft or baggage loss and a host of other incidents that could occur.
The first step in hunting down your ideal insurance is to work out exactly who needs insuring. There are family offers or individual offers available so different deals will suit different people. If someone in your group is over 65 then the premium will be determined based on their age, so keep this in mind and look into individual cover for the over 65. It may actually work out cheaper than bringing up the whole group rate. If you’re going to be traveling more than once in the year then it could easily be a better deal to purchase annual cover rather than a single trip policy, so do the comparisons to be sure you’re not overspending. You also need to clarify which regions the insurer covers. A European policy may not cover certain countries or include ones you may not expect. Make sure you know the specifics. If you’re going to be taking part in any extreme sports or especially risky activities (this includes ski trips and extreme sports) make it clear to the insurer as these may not be covered. It also may be tempting to leave out any pre-existing medical conditions on your policy. Make sure you don’t do this as it could leave you in a sticky situation if something were to go wrong, and most insurers are fairly understanding about these things and do cover a variety of conditions. Before you commit to a policy be sure to read all the small print and take note of the exclusions and excesses. These can vary greatly between insurers and may exclude something that feels crucial to you.
If you’re setting off on your gap year then a bog-standard travel insurance policy won’t be enough. These policies are almost always time limited and don’t cover long trips, so search comparison sites for deals specific to backpackers and try and find as broad a coverage as possible. Your insurance may not be valid in particular countries if you leave the zone you’re covered in so keep this in mind while traveling and keep all your documentation on you at all times.
If you travel to Europe frequently and find yourself often having to pay out for travel insurance and particularly if you’re looking for a new current account, you may be interested in the Nationwide FlexAccount. Switching to this current account and depositing at least £750 per month into the account or moving all your standing orders and direct debits from another account into this one will get you free European travel insurance for those up to the age of 75. This might be worth considering if you’re someone who holidays in Europe frequently. For everyone else, price comparison websites are your best bet for calculating the travel insurance deals and finding one that suits you best.