Buying insurance

  • Don't risk travelling without insurance - it could cost you a lot more in the long run.
  • Arrange travel insurance as soon as you book your trip, this will ensure that you are covered for cancellation and curtailment.
  • Always shop around. Buying travel insurance direct from a specialist is usually better value than going to a travel agent or bank etc.
  • Is the insurance company a member of the ABI and the Insurance Ombudsman?
  • Does the insurance company have a Claims Charter?
  • Check the levels of excess on the policy.
  • It is important to be covered for medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, cancellation and curtailment of the trip, money/documents and baggage. Other areas of cover usually include delay, missed departure, loss of passport, legal expenses and assistance services.
  • The E111 medical system is not a substitute for a proper travel insurance policy. It is designed to provide free or low cost medical treatment in Europe and only covers emergency treatment. The full cost of treatment is unlikely to be covered and travellers often have to pay a large percentage of the medical bill.
  • Check the levels of cover and make sure they suit your particular circumstances. Be wary of paying excessive premiums for unnecessary cover.
  • Always declare pre-existing medical conditions and any hazardous activities/sports you may be undertaking. Failure to do so could mean that you are not covered if something goes wrong. This is important for any holiday you may be going on, e.g. winter sports/summer holiday.
  • Make sure your policy covers the full length of your trip.
  • Is cancellation cover enough to cover the cost of your trip?
  • Check that any expensive items you are taking away (e.g. video camera, jewellery) are covered either by your travel insurance or some other form of policy e.g. home contents.
  • If going on a winter sports holiday, check that the policy covers off-piste skiing, snowboarding, ski pack and ski equipment.
  • Can you ring back to the UK and extend your cover if you decide to stay in a country longer than anticipated?
  • Can you ring back to the UK and extend your cover if you decide to take part in a hazardous activity while away?
  • If you go away three or more times a year, investigate the benefits offered by an annual multi trip policy. It will probably work out cheaper than buying several single trip policies.
  • If buying an annual policy, is the maximum trip duration enough for your needs?
  • Read the small print. Under the ABI code of practice you are entitled to full refund within 14 days of purchase if the terms and conditions do not suit your requirements.


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