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Travel Insurance

Each year millions of Britons head off on their holidays without suitable travel insurance. According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office the figure is nearly 50% of all British travellers!

Travel insurance can seem like an unnecessary expense when you are booking your holiday but if you were ever in a position to require it; travel insurance could be a real lifesaver. For instance you may be on holiday in America and require hospital treatment which will potentially cost you thousands of pounds. If you do not have travel insurance you will not be able to claim it back.

A good travel insurance policy will provide insurance for medical and legal bills, cancellation and curtailment, thefts, mugging and luggage. Different insurers offer varying levels of cover so it is important to check what level of cover the insurer will provide.

When you book your holiday you should consider the threat of terrorism and the issue of world health. Both are very real and important factors to consider when deciding on your holiday destination. Travel insurance does not provide protection against the threat of terror, and after the events that unfolded in America , Bali and London insurers are even more careful about the cover they offer and what they will pay out for. In addition, insurers will not provide cover for new customers or an existing policyholder travelling to a country where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against travel.

Traditionally travel insurance was sold on a trip by trip basis. However, as the number of people taking holidays has increased, a growing number of travellers are opting for annual travel insurance. For a family, the benefits of an annual policy are even more transparent as the cost of taking out insurance for a couple as opposed to two single people is far less and depending on the insurer will include children for free.

For most situations travel insurance is very quick, easy and cheap to organise. However, there are some situations when insurers will require more information about the person being insured or the activities they intend to do. For example, if you have suffered (or are suffering) from a serious medical condition your insurer will need to know more about you. You may be travelling while pregnant, an elderly citizen, or planning to go pot-holing. All such situations will require further contact with the insurer to ensure the right level of cover is put in place.

If you are in the process of buying a travel insurance policy you should:

• Search the Market: Search the market as there are may different insurers all offering different policies and different terms and conditions. It is important to find an insurer who will provide you with the right product at the right price.

• Be Honest: Be honest with the insurer. If you fail to answer the insurer's questions honestly your policy may be invalidated.

• Check Policy Documentation: A lways check the policy details for aspects like coverage on offer for hazardous activity, terrorism, threat of war, medical issues, and personal liability.

• Buy the Right Policy: Decide on how many trips you are likely to take and buy travel insurance accordingly. For example you may intend to go skiing; a good annual multi-trip insurance policy should also cover Winter Sports activity. Buying the right insurance policy first time will be far cheaper and less hassle!


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