Buying travel insurance

17 May 2011 09:28

Couple looking at a laptop

Couple looking at a laptop

When we are booking our holiday we anticipate and dream of exotic destinations, fabulous beaches, great local cuisine, taking it easy or having thrilling adventures and experiences. Few of us want to spend time thinking of the risks of being away from home; becoming ill, having an accident, loosing possessions or suffering travel disruption and needing to make a claim on your travel insurance.

Guidance issued this week by the Association of British Travel Insurers (ABI) sets out clearly what is commonly covered in standard travel insurance policies and, more importantly, what is not. So buying the right holiday insurance cover for you needs has never been easier.

This is great news and support for reputable specialist travel insurance companies who tirelessly campaign for customers to buy the right policy for their circumstance and situation. Taking a bit of time to research a good policy means they won't be amongst the thousands of people who end up paying for medical and other bills out of their own pocket.

The top three tips from the ABI guidance are:

  • shop around for value for money and don’t base this just on price. You should make comparisons on level of cover not cost
  • be entirely open and honest, disclose any pre-existing medical condition so insurers can confirm their policy will cover any emergency treatment you might need abroad
  • behave responsibly, drink or drug related incidents and leaving possessions unattended, particularly valuable ones may invalidate a claim. If you are trying a ‘risky’ activity such as bungee jumping make sure you tell your insurer.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) welcome the ABI initiative as their consular staff have direct experience of advising thousands of people each year with inadequate insurance, that end up paying for bills abroad out of their own pocket. The FCO stresses that getting comprehensive travel insurance that covers everything you want to do on holiday is a vital part of planning your trip.

There is a strong element of partnership and working together in the travel industry to look after UK citizens travelling and living abroad. Over 400 travel service providers, including the ABI, have signed up to the FCO Know Before You Go campaign which started in 2001 and runs each year to give advice and information on staying safe and healthy abroad.

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