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The Importance of Travel Insurance

Aug 17, 2007
When booking and planning our holiday we tend to forget that things can still go wrong whilst we are away. You could fall ill or have an accident, you could have money or luggage stolen, your visit might be cancelled or cut short through injury or illness, your family may need to fly out to be with you if there is a serious incident. For these reasons it is essential that you take out proper travel insurance before heading off on holiday to ensure that in the unlikely event that something does happen you are properly covered and will be looked after correctly without being charged a small fortune.

When you book your holiday, it is more than likely that your booking agent will offer you their travel insurance. It may seem convenient to buy it there and then so it is done but with a little shopping around you could save you and your family quite a bit of money and get better cover.

Market surveys show that many people don't take out travel insurance as they believe that their credit card accident cover, home insurance, or private health cover is sufficient. However, it is unlikely that these will give adequate cover whilst abroad. You should be aware that the costs of an emergency abroad are high. A medical evacuation to the United Kingdom, for example, will cost you tens of thousands of pounds, so getting proper insurance is vital.

Shop around and get a few quotes before agreeing on which insurance to take out. Bear in mind though that a cheaper policy may have less cover. If you make several trips each year, even if in the UK, consider taking out annual multi-trip insurance to save time, money and effort.

When looking for travel insurance you should always read the full policy terms and conditions before entering into an agreement. Although the sales pitch or summary may sound adequate you may find that you are not covered in certain circumstances and in the case of pre-existing medical conditions. Other examples could include injury or death through acts of terrorism or nature, accidents caused through drinking alcohol and engaging in dangerous sports (and the list of these varies from policy to policy). If you are unsure if a pre-existing medical condition or any activity you engage in whilst on holiday is covered or not then contact the insurance company for more details, and a new quote if necessary. If one company does not cover a pre-existing medical condition or activity then check if another one does.

You should know what your policy covers and what it does not in order to make sure that it fits your's, and your family's, needs and requirements. The cover should be in place from the moment you set off on your holiday to the second that you return. You should also be covered for Medical and Health, including 24 hour emergency service and assistance, personal liability, cancellation and curtailment, and possessions.

When you travel you need to make sure that you carry the policy with you along with the emergency contact number. You may be required to call the insurance company before seeking medical help so ensure you know whether you have to do this or not beforehand. If you are required to pay for any treatment that you can claim back off your insurance then ensure that you keep all receipts and reference numbers. The same applies to claiming for thefts and robberies. You will be required to inform the local police who will give you an incident number which relates to your case and which the insurance company will need to deal with any claims.
About the Author
Guide2Holidays is here to take some of the stress out of your holiday and its planning so that you plan ahead, get to the airport, arrive at your destination and enjoy your holiday as much as possible. For more information please visit http://www.guide2holidays.com .
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