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Why you should read the small print of a travel insurance policy

Published 28 June 2016 by

Heading off on your holiday soon? That means you might just be starting your search for a travel insurance policy. Prices for these policies can vary depending on how much cover you’re after, but there are a few things you should look out for.

To make sure get the right level of cover for you, we’re going to take you through what to check when comparing travel insurance policies.

Medical cover

One of the most important features for a travel insurance policy is medical cover. This is the amount of cover you’ll receive if you need medical or surgical treatment while away on holiday.

The guidelines say you should look for cover of £1 million or more for travel to Europe and £2 million or more for travel to the USA. The most basic policies should provide this level of cover, so check this when comparing several.

Missed flight cover

Missing a flight due to events out of your control can be frustrating, so make sure your policy will protect you if you miss your flight.

This will cover you if you miss a flight due to unforeseen circumstances. This includes your bus breaking down or if you’re involved in an accident on the way to the airport. The policy won’t cover you if it’s your fault that you’ve missed your flight. For example, if you slept in or didn’t leave enough time to get to the airport.

Cancellation cover

Holiday cancellation cover tends to be included as standard, and covers you for costs incurred when cancelling or shortening a trip.

Similarly, you will only receive a pay-out if you cancel because of events out of your control. This includes if you’re ill, injured or if you’re called for jury service. You should look for a policy with between £2,000 and £3,000 cancellation cover, or enough to cover the cost of your holiday.

Baggage cover

When heading on holiday, it’s likely that you’re going to take some of your favourite things with you. To protect these, make sure you go for a policy that has suitable baggage cover.

Most standard policies will give you a baggage allowance of £1,000 per person. This is likely to be enough for most people, but will depend on the contents of your case.

Holiday activities

You don’t have to lounge by the pool for the duration of your holiday (although you might want to!). If you’re looking to take part in a lot of activities, make sure your policy covers you first.

Most policies will pay out if you get injured playing football on the beach or riding a bike around town, but you won’t receive cover for certain activities. An investigation by Money Mail found that some insurers won’t cover you for injury while snorkelling, banana boating or riding a hot air balloon.

Heading on holiday this summer? Here’s why you should buy your travel insurance early. You can even get travel insurance with a pre-existing condition – find out more in our blog.

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