Your policy should cover you for medical emergencies and the cost of any treatment, overnight stays and also repatriation (getting you back home). Don’t be tempted to forgo travel insurance because you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Your EHIC will only give you free or reduced cost basic medical care, you’ll be expected to cough up for anything thereafter.
Cancellation and curtailment
You may want to be covered if you need to cancel or cut short your holiday. Insurers are very specific about the reasons for cancelling and shortening trips so make sure you’re happy with what your policy states. Most will cover you if you have to come home because a ‘close relative’ is ill but double check what their definition of ‘close’ is – you might consider your aunt’s cousin’s daughter to be ‘close’ but your travel insurance provider might not. In addition, it’s important that you’re not aware of any pre-existing illness in your immediate family before you take out travel insurance. If you do know that they’re already not well, they will be excluded from mitigating circumstances if you then cancel your holiday because they’re ill.
Missed departure or delays
This will cover you if your flights are delayed because of an insured event (such as strike action). You’ll also be compensated for any accommodation and additional travel expenses if you miss your departure because of an event out of your control (such as if your car breaks down or delays on public transport). Policies differ over what sort of events will qualify for compensation so always check the fine print.
Ensure you’ve got enough insurance to cover the cost of lost, damaged, stolen or destroyed luggage. Don’t underestimate what you’ve got in your suitcase – cameras, tablets, make-up and clothes – it all adds up so make sure you’re adequately insured. Consider any particularly valuable items like jewellery – you might need a separate policy for them.
This means you’re covered if you accidently injure someone else but you won’t usually be covered if you injure someone in your own family.
Some policies will also cover expenses incurred if you lose your passport whilst abroad, or will replace money and travellers’ cheques if lost or stolen.
Watch out for the excess on your policy too – some will charge you an excess per incident so look for policies where you are only charged one policy excess.
Don’t bury your head in the sand – before you pack your bucket and spade, get your family travel insurance sorted – start comparing the market with us today.