Travel Insurance

Travel insurance rarely at the top of your list when planning a holiday, but it shouldn't be something that is forgotten either. In the main it's simple and surprisingly cheap to buy a policy these days. This article looks at the best ways to make sure you have some in place.

Insurance Questions

You'll be asked a few questions when signing up for a policy, typically these questions are:

Family, couple or individual cover? Family or couple cover is normally cheaper than buying individual cover.
Single trip policy or annual policy? A personal decision based on how often you travel. If it more than a couple of times a year then your probably better going for an annual one. Even with an annual one though you’re likely to be restricted to 30 - 60 days in any year.
Any existing medical conditions? Most of the cheaper insurance policies won't cover you if you have an existing medical condition that you are still being treated for or taking medication for. If cover for your condition is important then definitely check the wording of the policy or call to confirm your covered if it unclear. Those with existing conditions might also like to look at getting a European Health Insurance card in case they aren't covered by their insurance policy.
Policyholder ages? Unfortunately policy prices tend to start going up after you reach 65.
Worldwide or European cover? Europe is deemed safer or cheaper than many areas of the world for cover. So a policy just covering travel in Europe is cheaper than a worldwide one. TIP: Always check the countries you expect to be travelling to will be covered by your policy.
Winter sports cover required? More dangerous activities like winter sports attract additional premiums.

One thing I'd recommend is reading the policy key facts summary. It's better to find out before you buy it if you’re covered for everything you need, than when you want to claim. Insurance companies like to have lots of conditions.

Things that should be covered include:

  • Travel to or from your destination. Budget airlines for instance are likely to charge you the full fare if you miss a flight. If it’s last minute rates then the price is likely to be quite high. 
  • Medical insurance for suitable amount.
  • Loss of travel money or possessions.

EHIC - European Health Identity Card

If you’re traveling within Europe then the European Health identity card is well worth getting. This entitles you to free or discounted medical treatment in any EU country. You are treated in the same way as a citizen of that country, so if they get it free then you do, or if they pay a small free for healthcare, then so do you.

The card takes a few weeks to arrive, so get one in advance of your trip. It will last a few years. You can get one online from Ehic

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