Monday, August 24, 2009

Why Travel Insurance is priceless?

Cost of travel insurance = Priceless

You have finally booked your holiday and here comes the obligatory question: 'Would you like to add your travel insurance?' Many of us just tend to unclick or dismiss the 'boring' bit thinking to ourselves 'It is holiday time and I'm going to just sit on the beach and have some fun. I'm healthy and whenever I've travelled before, nothing went wrong... so what could possibly go wrong now?'

In the effort to overcome ten common objections to buy travel insurance, I could mention at least twenty things that could go wrong on your summer or winter holiday! Ever heard of lost or delayed baggage or suddenly falling ill? Have any of your friends or relatives ever had to cancel their trip because of an unexpected event back at home?

Stolen cameras, passports or valuables are also quite frequent incidents whilst on your holiday.
Whether you are staying in Britain or travelling abroad, a good insurance cover is essential not just to give you peace of mind, but to financially protect you from a massive hospital bill, unexpected medical expenses or repatriation costs that could often go into sky high amounts. Adding the extra cost of travel insurance to your holiday bill has nowadays become an inevitable and educated choice.

With so many insurance products on the market we might sometimes struggle with the right choices of suitable insurance cover. This depends on many factors. First of all, it is the type of holiday and the activities you will be doing. Standard insurance policy will cover you for any typical activities like swimming, cycling and various light sports. However, if you are thinking to scuba dive or ski or do any adventure sports that bring higher risk of accident and injury, you need to declare this to your insurer. Your insurance premium will increase, but you will be covered and reimbursed for any medical associated costs should an accident occur.

The other thing to bear in mind is your age and any pre-existing medical conditions. The travel insurance policy could be more expensive for the over 65's and extra premium may be loaded if you have any pre-existing medical condition e.g. you have just recovered from a heart attack, injury or suffer from asthma. Medical screening is something that your travel agent or insurer will take care of once you have decided to purchase their policy.

What are we supposed to look for in travel insurance? A good travel insurance policy will cover you for medical expenses, public liability, lost, stolen, delayed luggage or flights, stolen valuables, cancellation and curtailment of your trip. It may also include some standard adventure sports and sports equipment cover as well as special cover for business travellers.

Some of us may think that our bank accounts, credit cards or airlines have automatically included travel insurance when we purchase our trip. This may well be the case, however it is always imperative to check what your existing policy is exactly covering you for. The former E111 or what is nowadays EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is also a great way to access health care abroad. Medical treatment at no or reduced cost can be obtained in continental Europe, but it is only limited to certain countries and you won't be covered for any other possible incidentals.

Cheap travel insurance can always mean reduced overall cost of your holiday, however it may sometimes mean restricted or very basic cover. When purchasing your travel insurance, ask your travel agent for any recommendations of suitable policy and detailed explanation of your cover and insurance excesses. Sometimes the value of your claim may actually be smaller than the excess itself! Get a few quotes and compare the suitability of your cover to your trip and any possible exclusions. Check who the underwriters are in case you need to make a claim. Are they a reputable company?

Suitable travel insurance policy is an inseparable part of any modern traveller's trip, whether it's business or leisure, home or abroad. Often the cost of your travel insurance is negligible compared to the overall cost of your holiday and the expenses you could incur should any medical emergency occur. In this respect, purchasing a good travel insurance policy and the peace of mind it will give you, is certainly priceless.


Mark Kempster

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