Are you planning a vacation? Always get travel insurance ASAB (As Soon As… Book). That way, you’ll have coverage in place if something happens that prevents you from traveling, as well as coverage if you do go.
Unfortunately, no policy covers every circumstance, so keep reading for things to look out for and our top-rated travel insurance packages.
What exactly is travel insurance?
The purpose of travel insurance is to cover the costs of the unexpected, such as illness, injury, or loss of your belongings while you’re gone.
It’s also intended to protect you if you have to cancel your vacation before you leave, or if you have to return home early due to an emergency.
However, it is not intended to cover every occurrence, loss, or annoyance that you may encounter while on vacation.
What is the scope of travel insurance?
Unfortunately, not all travel insurance is made equal, but you should expect an insurer to cover the majority of the following.
However, the specific degree of coverage varies each policy, so always read the conditions carefully before purchasing.
|Cancellation as you can’t travel||If you’re made redundant, have to do jury service, fall seriously ill, test positive for Covid, suffer a bereavement or have a home emergency such as a fire, flood or break-in.|
|Medical costs whilst abroad||If you fall ill overseas, including Covid, and require treatment – plus any travel costs if you need to be brought back to the UK for it. Though ALWAYS tell your insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions, or you won’t be covered (see our Pre-existing conditions travel insurance guide for full help).|
|Cutting your trip short (curtailment)||If an emergency happens that requires you to travel home early, such as death of a close relative.|
|Baggage and personal belongings||If any of your stuff is lost, stolen or damaged while you’re away. Though there are often limits on the amounts they’ll pay out. You may also have cover for this under personal belongings on your home contents policy.|
|Sports, excursions and other activities||If you can’t make use of your booked activities, though some policies only cover this if the provider went bust.|
|Personal liability||If you accidentally hurt someone or damaged their property, such as spilling a drink and staining an expensive upholstered chair.|
|You catch Covid||You’re generally covered if you test positive for coronavirus before your trip or while on it.|
Book flexibly and pay on plastic for extra protection
Travel insurance provides valuable last-resort protection, but it’s best used in combination with other ways of minimising the risk of losing money on a trip…
- Book easily cancellable or flexible flights and accommodation. Hedge towards offers with no/low deposits or those that give refunds or let you rebook for free if you find you can’t go.
- Pay on plastic. Credit cards offer strong protection, as Section 75 refund rules mean for items costing more than £100, the card provider is jointly liable with the seller – though note that bookings via travel agents may not be covered as it usually only covers payments made directly to the travel provider.
Debit cards also have some protection under the ‘chargeback’ refund rules (but these aren’t legal requirements and firms sometimes challenge them).
Yet for both schemes, you’ll only be covered if the service wasn’t provided, for example if the flight was cancelled or the accommodation was shut. These card schemes won’t cover you if you weren’t able to, or didn’t want to, go on your trip.
- Package holidays can offer greater protection. If an airline or accommodation provider cancels, you’re entitled to a refund. But if the trip or flight is still going ahead but you can no longer travel, such as a new travel warning from the Foreign Office banning all but essential travel, then you have few or no rights.
However, most package holiday providers won’t operate holidays to countries where a travel restriction has been put in place, so they are more likely to cancel the trip anyway.
Source | Money Saving Expect