Dodging Travel Insurance Pitfalls

This article was written by Jamie Gibbs from Confused.com, the travel insurance comparison website.

Getting everything arranged for a holiday can be a headache at the best of times, and it has almost become a tradition to forget something in the hustle and bustle of sorting everything out. As a result, usually the last thing to be checked off the list is sorting out the travel insurance, and what happens is that we’ll take any kind of low-priced policy just to say “I’m covered”.

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when taking out travel insurance, as it may cost you more in the long run should something happen while on holiday.

Don’t blind-buy

You wouldn’t pay for a computer or a car without knowing any of the specifications beforehand, so make sure you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.

The importance of Travel Insurance

That small print can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to making a claim, as I found out when my digital camera was stolen while on holiday in Venice. I waited until I was back in the UK to make a claim, and when I (finally) read the small print it said all theft claims needed a written police report in order to be valid. Goodbye, camera.

Check, and check again that the policy matches your needs for the holiday e.g. if you’re taking your laptop with you, or if you are going on an adventuring holiday.

No such thing as a free lunch

Many banks and credit cards now offer ‘free travel insurance’ when you open an account/take out a credit card with them. However, the policy is unlikely to be free, and you either have a basic level of cover or you’re paying above the odds for your account/credit card. If you’re thinking of switching bank accounts purely for the ‘free’ travel insurance, shop around for a better deal on both the insurance and the account. The convenience of having it ‘taken care of’ means that you’re likely being left out of pocket somewhere along the line. The same applies for holidays that include travel insurance in the price. How much more expensive do you think the holiday is because of that added ‘free’ feature?

Excessive excesses

not getting travel insurance can cost moreWhat you think is a single incident could turn into several, depending on the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy. Take this scenario: you are mugged on holiday, and the mugger takes your passport and your wallet before assaulting you. Some travel insurance policies won’t look at that on a per claim basis, but rather make a claim for each section of the policy the incident covers. One incident becomes three different claims with three lots of excess to pay. Try to find travel insurance that only charges excess per claim so you won’t have to pay out any extra.

Just because you’re looking to pay less, doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a sub-standard policy. Sorting out your travel insurance sooner rather than later gives you time to find something that suits your needs and is easy on your wallet.

Thanks to tedeytan!!!! scogle and epSos.de for the excellent images from Flickr. Please note, all images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting. 

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