How to save money on your travel insurance
Getting away on holiday can be an expensive business so the last thing you want is for something to go wrong and you are left out of pocket. Taking out travel insurance will give you peace of mind but you need to make sure you are getting value for money as well as comprehensive cover.
This guide is full of useful tips that will help you save money on your travel insurance.
There are several websites who offer comparisons across a range of insurers which can save you money. Make sure you check closely what each policy covers you for and compare like with like when it comes to cost.
Buy comprehensive cover
Make sure you get cover for the following risks
- Cancellation and delay
- Baggage and possessions
- Personal liability
- Medical cover
- Emergency assistance
Consider an annual policy
If you going to travel more than once in a year then an annual policy will probably prove cheaper. This will also mean that you will never forget to arrange your travel insurance in the hectic days before you travel.
Buy family cover wherever possible
It will generally be cheaper to cover the whole family under one policy but make sure you are all still covered if you travel separately, such as children on school trips.
Arrange your cover early
As soon as you book your holiday make sure you arrange your travel insurance. Events may occur, such as illness or pregnancy, that will require you to cancel your holiday well ahead of the departure date, if you have not got a policy in place then you will have to suffer any financial loss personally. In addition, if strike action by airline staff is announced before you have taken out insurance then you are unlikely to be left out of pocket if it affects your holiday travel plans.
Apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
An EHIC will provide the holder with free treatment in state-run hospitals in any EU country plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. You will need one EHIC for each person (including children) travelling with you on holiday. Here is how to apply for an EHIC.
If you are planning to take risks make sure you have cover
Many of us love to take activity holidays but not all activities on these types of holiday are covered under a standard travel insurance policy. Inform your insurer prior to your holiday to ascertain if your specific activities are covered and whether any restrictions apply. Be honest, as failing to declare these activities could invalidate your policy. Also, many policies won't pay out if an injury is a result of alcohol consumption, so check the policy wording.
Declare all pre-existing medical conditions
Do not be tempted to hide medical conditions from an insurer in an attempt to reduce the premium. Be open and honest about all existing medical conditions and if you have an annual policy inform your insurer if any new medical conditions that arise. Not all medical conditions will result in an increased premium.
If you have a more serious pre-existing condition then an insurer may offer one of the following -
- exclude cover for certain conditions
- offer cover at an enhanced premium
- increase the compulsory excess
- impose restrictions on activities
- refuse cover completely
There are a number of insurance companies which specialise in travel insurance for those with existing medical conditions. Payingtoomuch.com has a useful comparison tool of insurance companies whic specialise in travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Check excluded countries on worldwide cover
If you are booking annual worldwide travel insurance make sure you are fully aware of the countries that are excluded from your policy (as there will be some). Worldwide doesn't mean worldwide!
Use a specialist insurer if you're over 65
While you may have the time and money to enjoy some foreign sun the bad news is that when you are over 65 travel insurance premiums usually soar and lots of insurers will only offer single-trip policies. But there are specialist companies out there so don’t be disheartened. Here you can compare travel insurance for those aged over 65.
Check your cover carefully
Not all standard travel policies offer the same cover so you need to check the policy details carefully. Make sure you understand what cover you have, what restrictions or exclusions there are and that you understand the claims process. Put your travel insurance policy in a safe place and always take it with you when travelling.
Inform your home insurer when taking an extended holiday
Most insurers require you to inform then if you away from your home for more than 30 days.
Image - Graeme Weatherston / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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