Tips

Does your travel insurance fit the bill?

Does your travel insurance fit the bill?

Category: Insurance
Date: 19/11/2010

Make sure your travel insurance fits the bill

It's a perfectly reasonable assumption isn't it: "my travel insurance will cover me in the event there's a natural disaster"?

The problem is just that though – it's an assumption! Too many assume they are buying travel insurance cover that will cover them; and too many make an even more dangerous assumption – "it won't happen to me!"

If you're heading to Florida, you may expect your policy to cover you for hurricanes and tornados. If you're heading to Thailand, you might think you're covered in the event that there's a flood. And, apparently, if you're flying anywhere out of the UK, you might expect to be covered… against… volcanoes?!

The thing about insurance is that the more likely an event to occur, the more likely for it not to be covered, or be covered at an expensive rate.

So don't assume:

  • That you'll be covered. Check the small print for exclusions and limitations to your policy.
  • That it won't happen to you. Is that really a gamble you want to take?

The state of play

Quite simply, the state of play is this: some insurers cover natural disasters as standard, others exclude them, and some offer cover at an additional cost.

Always read the small print!

The level of cover, not price, should always be your first consideration when it comes to taking out any insurance.

So before you purchase your travel insurance, be sure to read the policy document.

"Who has time to do that?"

Well the problem is if you don't, you don't know what you're buying. If you don't know what you're buying, then you don't know if your policy fits the bill. Take 5 minutes to read your policy, or risk losing a whole load of time and money if your policy won't pay out. I know which I'd rather do…

Never be afraid to ask your insurer if something is covered. If it's not, ask if it can be!

And it doesn't stop there!

What if there is a natural disaster?

Having natural disaster cover on your policy isn't the only area that you need to be careful with when choosing your travel insurance policy. There are other things lurking in the small print that you should be sure to watch out for…

Hazardous sports!

  • If you are planning to undertake any sort of hazardous activity on your holiday, you may not be covered by a standard travel insurance policy. Winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding may require you to get a specialist policy. So check whether you are covered before jumping out of that plane, or off that bridge!

Medical History

  • You might think your travel insurance will cover your medical costs if you need treatment whilst away. However, if you have a pre-existing condition, any claims resulting from this will likely be excluded from your cover. Having said this you may still be able to get cover for a pre-existing condition through a related charity website.

Lay off the sauce!

  • Your travel insurer may not pay out on a claim if it is the result of you taking drugs or drinking excessively.

Terrorism/ Civil unrest

  • According to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, only 60% of travel insurance policies cover you for a claim that's the result of terrorism (so be sure to check that this is covered). Also, if you are travelling to a place that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against going to, you will probably invalidate your cover; so keep an eye on FCO for the latest travel advice.

Want to know more? Check out Moneyfacts Travel Tips for some more top things to consider before taking out travel insurance.

If you need to buy travel insurance, check out our travel comparison service provided by Beat that Quote where you can view policies side-by-side and buy instantly online.

Compare our Travel Insurance Deals

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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