Many people deeply regret not taking out travel insurance. They think their credit card accident cover, home insurance, or private health cover is sufficient.
An emergency abroad can be extremely expensive. If you need to be returned to the UK it could cost you thousands of pounds, unless you are adequately insured:
Figures supplied by FirstAssist Services Ltd.
Remember: the British Embassy or High Commission will not pay for this.
The policy should cover the whole time that you’re away.
Your policy may also have:
Many insurers will extend cover if you ask them. If not, shop around for a specialist policy.
Always check the conditions and exclusions of your policy:
A good insurance policy will cover you for cancelling or cutting a trip short. Check carefully to see exactly what you’re covered for:
Try to book with a travel company that holds an ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) or is a member of an association that can offer financial protection for your travel arrangements, e.g. ABTA or AITO. Always ask your travel company if protection applies to your travel arrangements. If it doesn’t, the company may be able to offer suitable insurance to cover you.
If you accidentally cause an injury to someone or damage their property they may sue you. Good travel insurance will cover you for personal liability.
Travel insurance can cover a personal accident payment made for permanent disability or death.
You can normally choose the limit in your policy. Limits for single items such as cameras and jewellery can vary from as little as £250 up to £1000 or more. Check these limits are adequate and realistic.
You should report a loss to the Police within 24 hours. Proof of notification will be required when you make your claim.
All insurance policies say that you must take care of your belongings at all times. If you don’t, the policy may not pay out.
Tip: take as much care of your property as if it were uninsured.
Do not rely on compensation from an airline if it loses your luggage.
By law, airlines only have to pay a specified minimum value per kilo of lost luggage. This is unlikely to cover the full value of your things.
Taking out legal expenses cover will help you to pursue compensation or damages following personal injury while you're abroad – very important in countries without a legal aid system.
Get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for healthcare in European countries. Understand what it does and doesn’t cover you for.
If you don't have adequate travel insurance you could end up paying thousands of pounds if you fall ill or have an accident while abroad.
Don’t get stranded abroad without a refund when your holiday company goes bankrupt – know what protection exists for you.
Information on the financial protection offered to credit and debit card users, and links to further consumer advice.