10 tips to choose the right travel insurance
1. Look out for online offersBy shopping for travel insurance online you can save. The majority of travel insurance providers give extra incentives to their online customers as providing cover online is cheaper for these companies and they pass these savings onto the consumer. A quick browse online showed that most providers were cheaper online, with offers of 25% discounts or more to customers who purchase online.
2. Always shop around
If you’re booking your holiday online or through a travel agent, the chances are you’ll be offered a travel insurance deal at the checkout. These deals may be convenient, but they’re seldom the cheapest or the most comprehensive. Always decline and shop around elsewhere before you buy if you want to get a good deal.
3. Check your existing insurance policies
It could be that some or all of the cover you need for your holiday is already met by one of your existing insurance policies. For example, your baggage and personal items may already be covered by a home contents policy. Read through existing policies to figure out exactly what extra cover you need to be protected on holiday.
4. Ensure sufficient medical cover
Ideally you want a policy that will provide at least £1m within Europe and at least £2m outside of Europe. Medical costs can be expensive, particularly outside of Europe and in North America, and you don’t want to be saddled with the bill.
5. Cut the cost by using your excess
You can often cut the cost of cover by agreeing to increase the amount of excess you will pay on claims. Just make sure that the excess you agree to is realistically affordable.
6. Active holidays
If you’re planning an active holiday incorporating sports like hiking, horse riding, scuba diving, golfing etc, the chances are that these activities won’t be covered by a standard policy. Ask how much extra cover will cost for your chosen activities and if it sounds like too much, try a provider that specializes in covering active holidays instead.
Even golfing holidays are likely to require a non-standard policy
7. Insurance for families
If you are traveling as a family or even as a group, you can make savings by opting for a family or group travel insurance policy. Family policies frequently cover members of the family when they travel alone too.
8. Single and multi-trip
If you’re a frequent traveler who makes three or more journeys overseas per year, you could save by taking out an annual multi-trip policy. As well as saving you money, it’s a far more convenient way to buy cover than purchasing a new policy every single time you travel.
9. Use a European Health Insurance Card
A European Health Insurance card is free to all EU citizens and entitles you to completely free or reduced price medical treatment within all EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You can apply for an EHIC at your local Post Office or online at ehic.org.uk.
10. Always read the small print
It may seem obvious, but you should always read your policy through in full to make sure that you know exactly what your policy covers. Some policies may have age restrictions hidden amongst the small print for example, so check it over before you sign.
Photo by Vanessa (EY) (1) and jurvetson (2) on flickr
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