Top travel insurance tips for a stress free Easter getaway
With many Brits preparing for an Easter getaway, MoneySupermarket outlines its top tips to ensure holidaymakers have the right cover in place to safeguard against any unexpected holiday mishaps.
Bob Atkinson, travel expert at MoneySupermarket, said: "For those fortunate enough to be jetting away this Easter, having the right travel insurance in place is essential to ensure peace of mind whilst away from home. Having a policy with the appropriate levels of cover will help safeguard against any unexpected eventualities.
"Travel insurance shouldn't just be about price. For some, the cheaper policies don't provide adequate cover. A family of four holidaying for a week in Spain would need to pay around a few pounds more for a policy that provides suitable levels of cover compared to cheaper less comprehensive policies.
"Reading the policy wording before choosing travel insurance is vital to ensure the cover offered meets your needs. Additionally, taking out insurance as soon as you book your holiday will ensure you are covered should circumstances arise that prevent you from taking your trip."
Medical and personal liability cover
When travelling abroad, it is essential to have adequate medical cover in place. If travelling in Europe, many think a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will suffice, but the cover offered is not as extensive as you may think. While the EHIC card will provide you with the same treatment as a resident of the EU country you are visiting, standard treatment between European countries varies, as does the cost you may have to contribute to it.
MoneySupermarket recommends having at least £2 million worth of cover for medical expenses and £1 million worth of personal liability cover. This means travellers are protected against the cost of a doctor's consultation through to any hospital treatment needed. Some cheaper or less comprehensive policies won't include ‘hospital benefit' which covers any incidentals you need to pay for in hospital, and holidaymakers are also advised to consider cover for the expenses a family member or friend will accumulate if they stay in the country with you during a hospital stay.
Organising your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday will protect you in the event that you are not able to travel. Most policies include this cover as standard, but it is important to check the value of the cover matches the cost of the holiday you've booked, otherwise you will not be paid out for the full amount should unforeseen circumstances prevent you from travelling.
Insurers set a cap on the amount of baggage cover you can claim for should anything be lost or stolen. In general, holidaymakers tend to underestimate the value of their belongings leaving them woefully underinsured; items such as designer sunglasses, brand name clothing and gadgets such as mobile phones, iPads and eReaders can all add significant value to your baggage.
Knowing and understanding your excess levels is also important as cheaper policies tend to have a higher excess rate and this can sometimes deem a claim as worthless especially if the excess matches the cover offered. MoneySupermarket recommends you have at least £1,500 worth of cover in place for lost or stolen baggage. Also take note of what is and isn't covered by your policy as you may need separate cover for sports equipment or expensive jewellery, such as wedding rings.
Personal money and documents cover
Some policies may leave you in the lurch should you have your personal money or your travel documents stolen. Be careful to have enough cover for the amount of money you are taking with you, and consider the costs and implications if your passport and other travel documents go missing whilst abroad. Some policies will not only cover the costs of your documents, which can run into hundreds of pounds, but will also offer assistance in the event of needing to get a passport replaced.
Missed or delayed departure cover
Getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport could turn into a holiday disaster if you don't have missed departure cover, as you may have to stump up the full price for a new ticket. Basic policies do not cover for missed or delayed departure, so paying a little more for a better policy could save your holiday in the event of a delay.
End supplier failure, catastrophe and strike cover
Package holidays provide cover in the event of end supplier failure or strike cover, as the travel operator is responsible for getting you back to the UK or reimbursing your costs if you didn't manage to leave the country. For those holiday makers who have not booked a package holiday, it is important to make sure your take out a travel insurance policy with ‘end supplier failure' to cover you if your airline or hotel goes out of business.
MoneySupermarket.com recommends at least the following level of cover:
£2m for medical expenses
£1m personal liability
£3000 cancellation - or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday
£250 for cash
Policy excesses under £100
Cover for scheduled airline failure and end supplier failure as desirable
Delay cover (e.g. £20/hour for first 12 hours)