Whether it is for the home, car, health or travel, there is always something vaguely irritating about having to pay for insurance. Shelling out money against the contingency of something going wrong – and usually something completely outside your own control – feels somehow unfair.
This is particularly so in the case of travel insurance, when you have already dished out a King’s ransom on flights, hotels and all those little travel essentials that can mount up so quickly. Nevertheless, just as you wouldn’t drive down the motorway in an uninsured car, it really isn’t worth taking the risk of travelling overseas without insurance protection in place for yourself and your loved ones. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.
Book sooner rather than later
The most important aspect of travel insurance is to cover any disasters that occur while you are away. However, keep in mind that the policy will also protect you against cancellations – given the propensity for airlines to go under, it makes sense to get it in place as soon as the holiday is booked.
Don’t just look at price
There are plenty of internet comparison sites you can visit that will give you a list of 20 travel insurance options in order of price. Be cautious about simply clicking on the cheapest one, and make sure you have the actual cover you need, or you might as well not bother. As a rule of thumb, £2 million medical expenses, £1 million personal liability and £1,500 baggage cover should be minimum levels of cover.
Check what is covered
A beach holiday in the South of France and a week trekking in South America are very different propositions. It goes without saying that you need to make sure you are covered for any adventurous activities you might be undertaking. But likewise, you don’t want to pay for cover for things you definitely won’t be doing. A bespoke policy from a site like uhcsafetrip can make a lot of sense and will ensure you are paying for what you need, and nothing else.
Consider an annual policy
If you are frequent travellers, it is often more cost-effective to take out an annual policy rather than insuring in a trip-by-trip basis. Check out the options, particularly for a family policy that might also cover school trips and the like.
If you are planning on driving overseas, this is a whole separate area, but it is one you need to think about carefully well in advance. Rental car companies invariably charge the earth for comprehensive insurance cover, and it is often more cost-effective to sort it out for yourself via your existing policy. Just make sure you have proof of cover with you, or they will not hand over the keys. Similarly, if you are taking your own car overseas, either by ferry or on Eurotunnel, check your motor insurance policy to ensure you are covered for using the car outside the UK.