If you are thinking of going away this year then don’t forget your holiday insurance. Whilst there is a very good chance you won’t need it there are unforeseen exceptions and you don’t want to be abroad and find yourself in need of medical help, arriving without your luggage, or the victim of a robbery or mugging.
Many countries don’t have any form of national health service (ie., a service which is free at the point of delivery) and you have to pay to use hospitals, doctors, dentists etc., which can prove very expensive. In the case of an emergency you will be looked after but will find yourself with a hefty bill at the end of your treatment and if you need medical assistance or repatriation to the UK you will wish you’d spent money on insurance before travelling.
With so many companies, including the superstores, offering insurance, competition is high, so it is important to do a bit of research before choosing a provider.
How many times do you travel?
If you love your holidays and take more than one a year then why not look at getting an annual policy, whilst the initial cost will be higher than a single trip policy, the more you travel the bigger the saving over a 12 month period.
Most providers will offer discounted rates when you add more family members to the policy, so remember to ask. The rates often work out to be a lot cheaper than buying individual policies.
With so many insurance providers vying for business, the best advice is to shop around. Firstly, look at the comparison websites. Don’t automatically renew your current policy or use the same company as you’ve always used. Chances are you they won’t be competitive. Columbus Direct promotional codes offer online savings, check out this page, we’re often given promotional codes for this trusted insurer.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you are travelling to one of the countries within the EU you should obtain an EHIC card which replaces the old E111 cards. These offer you the basic level of medical health care. You need to apply for the card in advance of travelling – it usually takes about three weeks to receive, but will take considerably longer in peak holiday periods so apply in good time. You can order your EHIP online, at the Post Office or by phone. Make sure you read the small print so you know what is included.
You will still need travel insurance to cover other elements such as lost luggage, cancelled flights, extensive details to travel etc. For instance, if you require medical assistance and repatriation the EHIC will not cover this whereas a travel insurance policy should do.
What kind of cover
Most policies offer different levels of cover, with most having cover for activities such as skiing or water sports as additional elements to the policy cover. If you are going on a beach holiday, you won’t need ski cover but you might need it for watersports.
Read the small print
I know this is the most tedious part of any formal documentation but it really is essential to know what is and isn’t covered. Just because you have insurance doesn’t mean you are covered for everything without any limits and you don’t want to find yourself caught short when you need the insurance the most. Some policies only cover a certain amount of treatment or value of personal possessions. Some will impose an excess in the event of a claim. Be sure you know what is and is not covered before you buy the insurance, but particularly before you travel.
Do not abuse your policy
All forms of insurance policies are constantly on the rise and this is mainly due to fraudulent claims. Just because you have a policy doesn’t mean you have to use it. Insurance companies have started to make it harder for claimants, insisting on crime numbers, photographs of jewellery items, receipts for original purchases etc., and insurance companies are increasingly prosecuting fraudulent claimants.
Do your homework, choose a policy that will give you the cover you want and then enjoy your holiday!