Travel Insurance: What you need to know
What is travel insurance?
You’ve all heard the term, but what does travel insurance actually mean?
The main purpose is to help you recover some of your financial losses if the unexpected happens on your travels.
While you may never actually use your insurance on your travels, it’s good to know that if something does go wrong then you’re covered.
Why do I need it?
Now, touch wood, the worst doesn’t happen. But what if it does?
If you break a bone while on holiday in America you can be looking at an average bill of around £25,000. Without travel insurance, you’d be expected to pay an amount before even being admitted to the hospital, and if you don’t have the money then the hospital can turn you away. In extreme cases, the hospital can take you to court in order to recoup their losses.
What does a good policy cover?
There are 5 main areas that a good travel insurance policy covers:
• holiday cancellation and interruption
• medical treatment
• flight insurance
How much is insurance?
The price of your insurance policy depends on a few factors. Your age, current health status, relationship status and where you’re traveling to all have an impact on the price.
While you want to save money for your holiday, don’t always go for a cheaper policy. It may cost less, but the claim allowances and excess on cheaper policies are much worse for you in the long run.
What is an excess?
An excess on an insurance policy is the amount of money you have to pay to claim.
For example: If your bag gets lost at the airport and you’re cover for £1000 worth of belonging, you would have to pay £75 to claim what you’ve lost and the insurer pays for the rest.
It may sound strange, but having an excess puts people off claiming fraudulently. If there wasn’t one, more people would claim and push up the price of being insured dramatically.
Be sure to look out for excess when getting an insurance policy. If you’re insured for £400 worth of property and your excess is £350, then you’ll only get £50 back.
How do you get it?
Depending on how you book your holiday, there may be the option to buy insurance at the same time. You may feel pressurised into doing this by the travel agent or sales representative, but this is usually because there’s bit of commission involved. Don’t succumb to the pressure unless it’s the right deal for you.
Searching online or with banks can help you find the best deal, though you’ll have to read each policy thoroughly to make sure that everything you want is included.
If you’ve taken out any sort of home insurance your possessions may already be covered!
Check out these insurance providers
Big Cat Travel Insurance
They say: "Big Cat’s gap year travel insurance policies are designed for gap year travellers, backpackers and students embarking on an extended trip abroad. We offer three great-value levels of cover – Budget, Standard and Premier – to suit your budget and the extent of the cover you require."
They say: "Alpha Travel Insurance covers Gap Year travellers, and those studying or working abroad. A wide range of activities are included within the standard premium including bungee jumping and snowboarding. There is a discount for The Gap Year Travel Guide readers with the code GAP2012"
They say: "Whether you’re off on a weekend break or an epic round the world adventure, we know how important it is to stay safe on your travels. We’ve made sure you’ll be covered for every eventuality."
They say: "With our gap year travel insurance policy you can customise your cover depending on the type of gap year you are going to take. Our gap year policy now covers you for up to two trips home during the duration of your cover."