What should I look for in travel insurance?
Regardless of the policy type you should always look out for the following features:
- Medical expenses – your policy should cover the cost of any medical treatment you need whilst you’re on holiday, it should also give you the means to come back home if necessary.
- Cancellation and curtailment – if your holiday is cancelled or cut short, you could be compensated. Different policies will have their own rules about what qualifies under this heading so read the small print.
- Missed departure and delays – covers the cost of you missing your flight for reasons out of your control (such as delayed public transport). You may also want to look for cover that insures you against delay due to (for example) strike action or bad weather.
- Luggage – make sure you’ve got enough insurance to cover the cost of your luggage if it’s stolen, lost or damaged. Don’t underestimate how much you travel with, especially if you’ve got the kids in tow – bottles, booster seats, clothing – they may be pint sized but children aren’t cheap.
- Personal liability – this covers you in case you injure someone else whilst you’re away (but it excludes injury to family members).
Other policies may also include cover for things like lost and stolen passports, money or travellers’ cheques.
One thing worth checking for, is the excess payable. It’s easy to get stung if your policy states that you need to pay an excess for each different claim, such as one for lost luggage and one for a delayed flight even though they happened on the same trip – so if that’s important to you, it might be worth choosing a policy with one excess for any claims. In addition, having EHICs for all the family can mean a zero excess for a medical claim on some policies.
But I’m only holidaying in the UK – do I still need travel insurance?
Staycations in the UK mean you won’t have to worry so much about medical costs. But if you suddenly became ill and you couldn’t go on holiday, you’d have to cancel at your own expense. Unless you don’t mind losing several hundreds of pounds and then forking out for another holiday once you’re better, insurance is probably worth at least considering.
So before you pack your bags and dig out your passport, take some time out to comparethemarket for travel insurance – it’ll be one less thing to worry about while you’re looking after the kids and trying to relax.