Thinking about taking out travel insurance?

May 4, 2016

Booking a holiday abroad? You should strongly consider taking out travel insurance before you go, on the off chance that something goes wrong. Before your holiday begins make sure you check out:

Cover you may already have

If you have a private health insurance policy, you may already be covered for illness and injury while abroad. But remember, you won’t be covered for other things such as delayed luggage, cancelled flights, delayed departure, loss or theft of money. If you have a home insurance policy check if you have cover for personal valuables lost, damaged or stolen outside of the home. This cover is normally an optional extra on your home insurance policy and is referred to as All-risks cover. It normally covers items taken abroad for up to 60 days. Get in touch with your credit card provider to see if you have any extra protection if your card is stolen or lost.

Health Insurance Card

If you are travelling in Europe you should apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to free or reduced cost state-provided healthcare when visiting an EU country, EEA country, Switzerland and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. You can apply for an EHIC on the HSE website.

Excess you have to pay if you make a claim

The excess is the first part of any insurance claim that you have to pay and it is usually a fixed amount. So, if you make a claim for lost luggage worth €600 and the policy excess is €150 and your claim is approved, the insurer would pay out €450. Always check what excess applies to your policy before you buy. It may be worth paying more to lower or have no excess.

Checks you should make with your insurer

There are a number of things to check with your insurer before choosing an insurance policy that is right for you. For instance, check if any restrictions or exclusions apply. These normally relate to what’s not covered in the insurance policy. If you are planning an adventure holiday find out if your insurance will cover you as some policies don’t cover certain risky sports such as horse riding or scuba diving. Exclusions and restrictions will vary across insurers so contact your insurer about specialist insurance before you go. Also, if you have any pre-existing conditions tell the insurer as many travel insurance policies won’t cover you. However, if they accept the risk, then you are covered. An insurer may refuse you cover for certain illnesses or charge you a higher premium. And finally, many of us put the start date of our policy down as the date our holiday begins instead of the date the holiday was booked. This may cause you problems if you need to cancel the holiday.

Know your travel rights

Remember, you have rights under EU legislation if your flight or ferry is delayed or cancelled. For instance, if your flight is delayed over a certain duration you have entitlements such as free refreshments or a meal. Travel insurance gives you additional protection. This can include theft of your money, belongings or passport and also in the event you need to cancel your holiday.

Take a look at our travel guide for tips on how to get the right travel insurance and for details on making a travel insurance claim.

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