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Travel insurance – what to look for?

Travel insurance – what to look for?

Category: Travel

Updated: 11/08/2015
First Published: 07/08/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Travel insurance is a must-have when you are preparing to jet off to warmer climes, but picking a provider and choosing what cover you want can often be confusing. Sticking to whichever offer is cheapest also isn't necessarily the best option, so how do you find the best cover?

Finding the best travel insurance

To whittle down the options and find what's right for you, it's important to compare policies on a like-for-like basis. This means that as well as comparing prices, you should also compare the actual cover. To do this, it may help to bear the following questions in mind:

· How many days are you going away for?

Most travel insurance policies have a limit on how long they will cover a continuous absence abroad, so check that the policy will provide cover for the entirety of your break.

· What activities are you planning to do?

'Hazardous' activities, such as horseriding, may not be covered by standard policies, so make sure you either opt for extra cover if there is a choice, or find another policy that is willing to provide insurance for your bungee jump off a cliff.

· Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions?

Hiding the state of your health (or your age) from an insurer could invalidate your policy, which means your claim may fall flat if you end up needing to make one. Be honest and upfront with the insurer, and this way you won't end up out of pocket if the worst happens.

· Are you going outside of Europe?

Breaks beyond Europe's boarders may require a 'worldwide' policy, so double-check that the insurer will cover your chosen country.

· How much will your holiday cost?

It may be a cost-effective option to weigh up how much your total holiday will cost - if the whole thing gets cancelled, you will be refunded for all of your costs. Also estimate how much your belongings will cost and how much cash you will be taking with you – failing to tot up the total could mean you get a nasty surprise if you claim for lost or damaged baggage.

Single trips vs multi trips

If this is your one big adventure for the year, then single trip cover will meet your needs. However, if you are planning on holidaying more than once a year, it may be more cost-effective to buy multi-trip insurance or a year-long policy.

A few final tips

It's perfectly fine to leave buying travel insurance until the last minute, but if you do so, you could be missing a trick. Buying cover at the same time as you pay for your holiday means that if your trip is cancelled at any time before you leave, then your insurance may refund you the cost. Why miss out on that extra cover?

It's also a good idea to chat to your chosen provider regarding any questions you have about what is and isn't covered – after all, there is no point buying travel insurance that doesn't fit all of your needs.

Happy holidaying!

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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.