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Thursday, 3 September 2009

Travel insurance

Taking out travel insurance can help you get financial and practical help if something goes wrong on your trip. Unfortunately, illness, theft or accidents can happen anywhere. Find out what to look for in a travel insurance policy.

The basics

Travel insurance can vary widely on price and levels of cover. If your trip involves particular sports or activities that are considered a risk, check that your insurer offers extra cover or you may need to call a specialist insurer. Get several quotations before you choose your travel insurance and check carefully what each offers.

Policy checklist

You may want to check the following to make sure the insurance you take out matches your needs:

  • emergency medical treatment, hospitalisation and repatriation (being returned to the UK)
  • 24-hour emergency assistance - some insurance companies offer an around-the-clock helpline in case you have a serious problem
  • personal liability - if someone is injured or their property is damaged by you or something belonging to you, they could make a claim against you
  • you having to cut short or cancel your trip, as you may be liable to pay the full cost or part of the cost if you cancel
  • the replacement cost of your personal possessions, including money and documents - your policy will specify limits
  • scheduled airline failure insurance (SAFI) - this may be useful if you are travelling independently and are concerned about extra costs you could face if your airline went bust

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website offers detailed information on travel insurance.

There is more information on SAFI on 'Your rights if an airline or travel company goes bust'.

Additional links

Time to renew your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

EHICs issued in 2005 and early 2006 will soon need to be renewed. Don't risk travelling in Europe without a valid card.

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