World First Travel Insurance Checklist - Seven must dos when buying holiday insurance
27 May 2010 06:35
- Check the policy meets your demands and needs
Travel Insurance cover varies from insurer to insurer and policy to policy, and it is vital to ensure your policy meets your needs. Most travel insurance is sold on a “non-advised” basis putting the onus on the consumer to ensure they buy the right cover. Policy wordings are inherently long (can be 68 pages), so look for the policy summary or “key facts” which identifies the significant limitations and exclusions. All insurance companies follow a similar format making comparisons much easier.
- Check the broker or agent is Authorised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
Selling travel insurance is a regulated activity. Whoever you buy your policy from should be both authorised and regulated by the FSA (check credentials at www.fsa.gov.uk/register/ ). If you are buying from a travel agent or operator then their website should state clearly whether they are directly authorised or working on behalf of an insurer.
- Declare ALL medical conditions
It’s pretty common for policies to exclude claims arising from pre-existing medical conditions so it is always worth reading the policy carefully if you take any medication, have been hospitalised in the last 12 months, are awaiting any treatment or the results of tests. The exclusions normally relate to “you and anyone your trip depends upon” so you also need to tell the insurance company about any medical conditions or ill-health suffered by relatives. Most people only think about their own health when buying travel insurance and forget that the exclusions relate to family members who are staying at home.
- Think about what you are planning to do whilst away
If you are planning any “hazardous activities” whilst you are away then make sure the policy covers you. The fact that one insurer covers kitesurfing or offers travel insurance for scuba diving or walking at high altitude does not mean the next company will. So it is important to ask for a list of the activities that are either automatically covered or see if you can pay an additional premium. Anything motorised like jet skiing and riding a moped will often be excluded so make sure you get it in writing.
- Is it safe to travel?
If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against visiting a country or region then your policy will not cover you unless you buy very specialist and expensive cover.
- Think about your other trips
If you are going away more than once in the next 12 months then annual travel insurance cover will probably save you money in the long run. It covers any number of trips for the year and you can travel as often as you like.
- Think about your luggage and valuables
If you have expensive cameras, jewellery or an IPOD and laptop then check the limit for valuables on your insurance. Most policies have a limit for any item and the norm is around £250. It’s advisable to extend your household insurance if you can to cover all risks and protect those expensive items whilst you are both at home in the UK and away on holiday.
For more information on World First Travel Insurance or to find out more about our wide range of travel insurance policies log on to www.world-first.co.uk or call 0845 90 80 161 to speak to one of our specialist advisors