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STOP! Don’t go on holiday without travel insurance

If you’re jetting abroad for your summer hols, there’s every chance you’ve forgotten something – hopefully it’s only your toothbrush though, as going without travel insurance could be a huge financial mistake.

Though travel insurance is useful to protect you against cancellations, lost baggage and broken cameras, it’s also essential if you were to get ill on holiday. The cost of overseas treatment can be staggering, and it’s not as uncommon as you might think – one in five Brits have needed treatment abroad according to research by comparison site GoCompare.

With travel insurance you’ll usually find a host of emergency medical expenses are covered, from an infected mosquito bite to a helicopter lift from a ski slope to hospital. You should even be able to claim for an early trip home.

But travel without any kind of insurance and you could find yourself having to foot the bill for potentially tens of thousands of pounds – especially in places where treatment is expensive such as the United States.

Not everything will be covered as standard so read the terms and conditions. Most insurance policies will have an excess you have to pay and limits on the total cost. You’ll also find they exclude some pre-existing illnesses and injuries, or require you to purchase an add-on for winter sports activities. You’ll usually have to get pre-authorisation from the insurer for any claim you make.

If you’re traveling in Europe you’ll also need to have a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). Most policies require you to have this before they consider any additional costs you might incur. GoCompare found a one in ten UK adults who went abroad in the last five years used an EHIC. That’s good news, but additional travel insurance is still essential.

What type of travel insurance do you need?

There are a few different types of travel insurance. What you get depends on a few factors. Here are the main ones to consider:

  • Where are you going?
  • How often are you likely to travel?
  • How many of you are traveling?
  • How long is your trip?
  • Do you need specialist cover (e.g. pre-existing medical condition, winter sports)

How to get the best deal on travel insurance

It’s almost always the case with insurance that cheapest isn’t best. You need to make sure you’re covered for you and your situation. There’s little point buying a policy which won’t pay out on the things you think most likely.

Shop around with a comparison site to see the cost of different policies from different companies, then take a read of the key benefits. If you find one which covers what you need, get it - you’ve still got 14 days to change your mind if you find a better option.

It’s also worth making sure you don’t already get travel insurance as a perk from your bank or home insurer – though double check they cover you for where you’ll be going and what you’ll take.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, or are going somewhere that might be dangerous, it’s worth talking to a specialist insurance broker to see if they can find what you need.

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  • steven coughlan / 7 August 2016

    Ive read and I understand alot an its really helpful thankyou so much