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Travel insurance tips for your Christmas shopping holiday

03 December 2010 13:26

Travel insurance tips for your Christmas shopping holiday

As the festive season draws ever closer people are starting to think about Christmas shopping, presents and short breaks to great shopping destinations, like New York.

Travellers are being advised to make sure they know where they stand when it comes to bringing back more than they took, so they avoid any penalties, fines or problems upon their return to the UK.

Christmas shopping breaks are becoming ever more popular as people make the most of the chance to sneak in a quick holiday before Christmas, whilst also bagging a bargain and finding the perfect Christmas presents.  Buying presents while on holiday is all well and good, but people may not realise that their perfect presents may not be covered through their standard travel insurance policy.

All travel insurance policies are different, although there are some general industry standards which most travel insurance providers will follow.  This includes the level of cover for high value items and cover for individual possessions.

The basic guide lines are:

  • Cover for personal possession in luggage is usual in the region of £1,500 – this is normally adequate for general luggage, however if you’re off on a shopping trip, it’s likely you will bring back more than you took.  Just consider that if you were to lose everything it would be worth more than the standard cover.
  • Cover for any one individual item will be up to £250 – so if you’re travelling with a laptop, iPad or anything worth more than that amount and anything happens to a high value item, for example it is lost, stolen or damaged, the level of cover will not be enough to replace it.
  • Travel insurance specialists recommend taking an all-risks extension on your household contents insurance policy. This will extend your home insurance to cover valuables when out of the home, but remember high value items such jewellery will need to be specified to the insurer.
  • Check what you can and can’t bring back to the UK.  Every country has restrictions on certain items.  If you find yourself at customs with an unusual item that is confiscated your insurance won’t cover you for the cost of replacing this item.

There are also tax considerations to bear in mind if you are bringing back high value items from countries such as America.  Make sure you know what you need to declare upon re-entering the UK to ensure you don’t find yourself in difficulty when bringing your presents back.

If you are planning more trips later in the year, perhaps a special Valentines break in February then cheap annual travel insurance might be a way to save money on your cover and is also easier than arranging single trip travel insurance every time to go away on holiday.