Travel Insurance Top Tips
Published | 26th May 2022
Money saving expert Martin Lewis now recommends all travellers sort travel insurance ASAB (as soon as you book) your holiday. As UK travellers can no longer use their EHICs (European Health Insurance Card) to access free or discounted emergency medical treatment abroad, travel insurance is the one thing that can protect you if things don’t go to plan! With the ongoing uncertainty and disruption of COVID and airline failures, travel insurance is essential to give you peace of mind and make sure you’re covered if things go wrong.
When to buy travel insurance
As a rule of thumb, you should buy cover as soon as you’ve paid a significant sum of money towards your holiday, whether it be payment in full or a deposit. That way, should you be forced to cancel your trip at any point before the departure date, you can turn to your travel insurance policy to recoup the cost of the holiday, or the money you have paid towards it, up to the policy limit and minus any excess.
Not all travel insurance policies are equal
When making the decision to purchase a travel insurance policy, always consider the cover benefits and limits. You certainly shouldn’t shell out for cover you don’t need, however, you should always ensure that the cover is ample enough that you’re not left out of pocket if you do need to claim.
How holiday cancellation cover works
Make sure the cancellation cover limit matches the cost of your holiday – that’s per person by the way! For example, with NOW Travel Insurance, if your holiday costs a total of £3,000 for two people, a policy with a cancellation benefit limit of £1,500 or more would be suitable. Do be mindful, that if you underinsure, you could void your policy.
Don’t travel without medical cover
Whilst you can’t claim for cosmetic or planned medical treatment, travel insurance can cover you if you get injured or become unwell abroad. This is important as medical bills can run high, particularly in countries which operate high levels of privatised healthcare. For this reason, it’s never a good idea to travel without insurance for medical emergencies. NOW offers a range of policies covering emergency medical expenses with limits between £5m and £10m.
UK Travellers can now apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which replaces the European Health Card (EHIC). However, cover is limited and by no means a substitute for travel insurance. GHICs and Travel insurance go hand in hand, so make sure you have both for comprehensive medical cover.
Get travel insurance that covers Covid
NOW’s policies all include cover if you contract Covid and need to cancel your trip or become unwell abroad and require emergency medical treatment. This is subject to being fully vaccinated or medically exempt. It is important to note that cancellation due to self-isolating is not covered, nor are the costs of PCR and Covid testing before, during or after travel. For those that are unvaccinated, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) can be used to access free or reduced medical treatment in certain countries.
Pay attention to the policy excess
When facing an emergency abroad, the last thing you need is to discover that you must pay an unaffordable excess when claiming on your travel insurance policy. The excess is the amount of money to be deducted from the claim, which you are responsible for paying. A high excess will typically lower the cost of travel cover, so before you hit the ‘Buy’ button, it’s worth checking that you’re comfortable with the excess amount so you don’t get caught out.
Make sure to cover activities
Do not assume that your policy automatically covers you for participating in sports and adventure activities. If you have an accident as a result, you might not be covered. Make yourself familiar with the activities that are included in your policy as standard, so that you can make an informed decision on what activities to take part in during your trip.
If you’re travelling specifically for a sporting adventure holiday, it’s important to declare the exact activities to your insurance provider in advance.
Baggage and personal belongings
When insuring your personal belongings and gadgets against theft and loss for your trip, you’ll want to pay close attention to the single article limit. Like most travel insurance policies on the market, NOW’s policies cap the amount you can claim per item, up to a total limit. If you’re travelling with anything of value, check that the single article limit is enough, as well as the total limit, and consider additional cover specifically for devices and gadgets, such as laptops and mobile phones, which is available to purchase with NOW’s travel insurance.
What about travel disruptions and airline failure?
Unfortunately, travel delays are common, and airlines can go bust. Disruptions to your holiday can be stressful, but with insurance that includes cover for such eventualities, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have some financial protection in place. All of NOW’s policies include cover for travel delay, and cover for Scheduled Airline Failure is available with our Premier policies.
Additional cover available
As well as all the standard travel insurance cover, we also offer the option to add cover for the following activities and trip types:
Please note that a NOW Travel Insurance Services policy does not provide cover for any trips to or through Afghanistan, Iran, Liberia, North Korea, Sudan or Syria. Also, no cover is provided for claims arising as a direct result of the situation highlighted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where You have travelled to a specific country or to an area where, prior to Your Trip commencing, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have advised against all (but essential) travel.