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The Myths of Travel Insurance

Aug 14, 2008
Holiday insurance is complicated; I'm not going to deny it. There's such a huge range of policies across companies and price ranges with such subtle differences that it can be a real struggle to stay on top and know which is for you. The secret here is to carefully read the small print of any policy you want to take out, but even before that stage there are many common misconceptions going around that I hope to put to bed here. With no further ado then, here are the top 5 myths of travel insurance that I am all too happy to debunk.

Credit Card Cover is Sufficient

According to the Daily Telegraph, millions of people set off to the sun with the mistaken belief that they don't need annual multi trip travel insurance because they're "covered by their credit card." Most credit cards don't include holiday insurance, and as a result these people are left with potentially huge bills when they discover they aren't covered. What cards sometimes offer is travel accident insurance which means an illness is not covered - nor is a bad heart, because it's not an accident that caused the condition! For peace of mind, those who thought they were covered by their card should get a decent annual multi trip travel insurance policy, to ensure they're covered against illness, theft, cancellation and loss of luggage.

European Health Insurance Card is just as good

This is another old misconception that just refuses to go away. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not the same as travel insurance - you will be liable for the costs involved in healthcare (albeit at a reduced rate). This isn't to say that the EHIC isn't worth taking - it can reduce the costs of healthcare while you're awaiting reimbursement from your travel insurance company.

You're obliged to buy travel insurance with your holiday

According to one survey, 25% of insurance users believe that there are certain insurance policies you're obliged to purchase with a product - like travel insurance with a holiday. This is not the case with holiday insurance, though obviously it is something you should definitely look into. That said, you are not obliged to take the travel insurance that your holiday provider wishes to bundle with the sale, so feel free to shop around.

Travel Insurance is automatically included with your holiday

The flip side to this is the belief that travel insurance is automatically included in the cost of the holiday. It usually isn't, and it will be a costly mistake to find this out when you need to make a claim, so if in doubt ask!

Holiday Insurance covers everything that could go wrong

The thing about travel insurance is that it scales to cover your needs - not all policies are equal, and if you go for the cheapest one you can find, the chances are it won't cover higher risk activities like skiing or extreme sports. According to a survey I read, 49% of people don't understand their policy, which is an amazing statistic! When you get your holiday insurance policy, read it through and make sure that every likely activity is covered, and if it's not, try and get it as an add-on to make sure you don't have an unpleasant surprise awaiting you when you need to make your claim.

Should you be in the unfortunate situation where you need to claim on your holiday insurance, it helps to be prepared in advance. Read the small print and make sure the cover you've chosen is going to cover you against the worst for your holiday and you'll be able to relax and enjoy your vacation, safe in the knowledge that your annual multi trip travel insurance can save you in the worst case scenario!
About the Author
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of Journey's Travel. Their commercial travel insurance website, Insuremore, offers annual multi trip travel insurance for families, couples and singles with a quick and easy online claims feature.
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