Travel Insurance Checklist
- Only buy good quality travel insurance. NB: All of the companies recommended on this website 'best buys' in the on of the Consumers Association (Which?) travel insurance surveys over the last 4 years.
- Know what cover you want and check that the policy provides that cover. Some policies have non-standard exclusions - for example, the JourneyWise policy excludes cover for your glasses.
- As a minimum, make sure your policy cover provides for:
a. all medical bills
b. an air ambulance in case you need to be flown home
c. bringing your family home in the event of your illness or injury
d. any potentially hazardous sporting activities you may be planning
e. replacing and / or bringing your car home if you are taking it abroad
- If you plan to rely on free travel insurance cover provided as a benefit on your credit card, get a copy of the cover and read it carefully. For example, it may not cover your return journey, or may only cover you if the full amount of the holiday was paid via the card.
- Consider leaving valuables and jewellery at home. If you do take them make sure your insurance cover is sufficient and that you abide by the policy terms (such as storing them in a safe).
- How often will you travel? As you can see from the tables above, if you plan to spend 15 days in the USA, and another 7 days in Europe, it is cheaper to buy an annual travel insurance policy.
- Some travel insurers exclude trips within the UK, or only include them if you are staying at a hotel or other paid accommodation. If you take regular trips in the UK and want to be covered for these, check the policy terms before you buy.
- If you are travelling within Western Europe, get a Form E111 from a Post Office, fill it out, get it stamped and take it with you. Not only does it give you access to free or reduced cost emergency medical treatment, many insurers insist that you carry one and / or waive their insurance excess if you have used it. But don't rely on it as a replacement for the medical section of your travel insurance - it is only for emergencies, it won't get you flown home, it doesn't cover emergency dental treatment (unless it's life threatening) and some European countries do not accept it.
- Remember to declare all pre-existing medical conditions. This will usually include asthmatic children, for example. This is one of the main reasons holiday insurance claims are refused.
- If you're travelling as a couple then buy a couples policy. They are normally much cheaper than buying two single policies.
- Check you're not paying for the same cover twice. Insurers will offer a discount of between 10 - 30% if your baggage is already covered on your home contents policy.
- Couples usually do better with a joint policy, but the policy may only cover you if you travel together.