10 brilliant tips for buying travel insurance

Most of us would choose to take the easy option and buy the travel insurance package offered by our tour operator, or from airline website as a part of our package deal. DO NOT fall into this common mistake. Not only do you risk spending over the odds if you do it this way, but you could be buying a mediocre policy that doesn’t provide adequate cover and isn’t best suited to your needs.

Before you buy anything, you should always contact the specialists in travel insurance policies to compare prices and levels of cover.

Then, don’t make your purchase just yet, until you’ve weighed up the following 10 points:

  • Consider annual cover

Specialist insurers offer a week’s cover for Europe at around £6, compared to just over £20 for annual cover, so buy a multi-trip plan if you are going for more than three vacations within 12 months.

  • Plan

Policies don’t automatically include winter sports cover. This may not matter if you’re planning a beach holiday now but what if you decide to go skiing later in the year? So do your research carefully and make sure you purchase the all-comprehensive multi-trip travel insurance that is worth your bucks!

Insurance comes cheaper if you buy as a couple, covering you and your spouse or partner who lives with you or as a family (check that the policy doesn’t specify that you always travel together).

  • Compare the excess charges

Prices may vary from as low as USD 16 to as high as USD 100. What you need to ensure is not cheap price, but whether the price tallies with the service you gain.

  • Don’t double up

If your home contents insurance covers personal possessions your travel insurer may discount by around ten per cent.

  • Look online

You’re likely to get the best rates by purchasing cover on the internet, rather than purchasing on the spot.

  • Check cover limits

Limits should be around £1 million for medical treatment in Europe (more for the US) and £1 million for personal liability. Check cover is sufficient for cancellation or curtailment, baggage and other single items lost.

  • Apply for an EHIC

Excess charges may be waived by your insurer if you have this!

  • Declare medical conditions

Not doing so may void a future claim; and let the company know any health issues of close relations on whom your travel depends.

  • Read the small print

Yes it is extremely boring to do, but reading the small print is the only sure-fire way to know what you are and aren’t covered for.

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