Travel insurance cover with your current account? Don't bank on it

20 September 2011 16:32

Travel insurance specialists, World First Travel Insurance, is encouraging travellers to review their travel insurance information to make sure they are covered before going on their summer holiday.

Travel insurance specialists, World First Travel Insurance, is encouraging travellers to review their travel insurance information to make sure they are covered before going on their summer holiday.

Travellers are being advised to check their travel insurance cover if they have travel insurance as part of their bank account, as many people are not covered when it comes to making a claim.

Travel insurance provided by banks, credit card companies and building societies provide travel insurance based on basic assumptions about travellers' situations. Standard travel insurance policies rarely provide cover for watersports, winter sports or activities such as rock climbing or even hiring a moped.

Anyone with pre-existing medical conditions will also find themselves in difficulty should they need to make a claim as standard policies will not cover any pre-existing conditions, unless they have been disclosed to the company prior to travel – and this often requires a supplementary payment to be made.

Travel insurance specialists, World First Travel Insurance, is encouraging travellers to review their travel insurance information to make sure they are covered before going on their summer holiday.

Managing partner of World First Travel Insurance, Martin Rothwell said, "Standard travel insurance provided by banks can often be good for short trips and for people with very basic travel requirements. Where the standard policies fall down is when people want to do more on their holiday, or if they have a pre-existing medical condition.

"Many people assume that because they have the insurance through their bank that they do not need to contact their bank to give them any additional details about themselves, family members or travel plans; this is a mistake. Travel insurance companies will only pay out on a claim if the policy holder has provided them with all the information they require, prior to travel."

Standard travel insurance policies provide basic cover for either an individual or family. However, any individual travelling with a family member who has a pre-existing medical condition will not be covered if they need to make a claim as a result of a family member's condition, unless all the details have been disclosed to the travel insurance provider.

Martin Rothwell adds, "Anyone going on holiday should always contact their travel insurance provider before they go to check the level of cover they have and to make sure they provide the company with as much detail as necessary to provide full cover. Although a policy may cost a little bit more, it is far better to pay that, than pay for not having the right cover when you really need it."

Hospital and medical treatment abroad can cost thousands of pounds and if you don't have the right level of travel insurance you will be faced with bills that you have to pay, either before you receive treatment or before you leave hospital.

A further complication that arises with added value bank accounts, which bundle travel insurance with the other benefits, is where the exclusions relating to health are essentially part of a rolling contract. The onus is on the account holder to declare any medical conditions or changes in risk. This means that if you opened your account five years ago and were healthy at the time, but have since suffered from ill-health or had an accident, you might find you are no longer covered by the free travel insurance if you haven't disclosed your health conditions.

The advice is simple, check you are covered before you go.

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