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Travel Insurance FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


There are a lot of misconceptions related to travel insurance, and understandably most people aren’t as well versed in the fine details of travel insurance as they would like – Many misconceptions put people at risk of spending unnecessary amounts of money on areas that could and should be covered by their travel insurance policy.

So, We’ve compiled this mini travel insurance FAQ to assist those who have doubts, worries or questions about travel.

  1. What should I do before going abroad?

    Make sure you have adequate travel insurance and that you have checked the FCO Travel Advice for the countries you are visiting. Check you have sufficient money and that your passport is up-to-date. Take a photocopy of your passport details and keep in a safe place. Check what vaccinations (if any) and visas are required. Note down the numbers and addresses of the UK embassy and consulate in the country you’re traveling to.

  2. Should I take out travel insurance before my holiday?

    Yes! It is extremely important that you take out adequate travel insurance even for short trips to Europe, and absolutely imperative in countries outside the EU where different conditions make illness more likely and affordable medical cover that bit more difficult to get hold of. It also covers for cancellation as soon as you book your trip, depending on the terms of your insurance.

    If you travel to a country, or part of a country, against FCO advice, it is unlikely that your insurer would meet any claim, however should the FCO advice change after you have booked a holiday, check the position with your trvel agent and travel insurance company.

  3. Where are the best places to compare travel insurance?

    There are many comparison websites to choose from. Examples of some good comparison sites are:

    Our favourite site which we recommend is Money Supermarket. We have used this site multiple times and have always found the best deals.

    Please note, none of these links are sponsored and we take NO commission. They are purely based on our honest opinion and to help you.

  4. Should I be looking at single trip or annual multi trip travel insurance?

    Although single trip insurance is (generally) cheaper, it does exactly what it says and covers you for just the one trip. By contrast, annual multi trip travel insurance policies will cover you for the whole year on various breaks, making it the right choice if you think you’re likely to travel that more than a couple of times in that year.

    You may find that just taking two trips a year would make annual multi trip travel insurance cheaper than the single trip policy.

    Just compare both insurance types before you make a decision.

  5. What sort of reason for cancellation is valid to ensure cover from travel insurance?

    As long as your reason is within the scope of cover provided by your insurance, then you should be entitled to claim in most cases. Legitimate reasons for cancelling your trip could include an illness or death in the family (as defined by your policy), freak weather conditions suspending travel for 24 hours, burglary or damage to your home, being a victim of criminal assault resulting in you being medically unable to travel, being called up for emergency military service or jury duty (subject to the specific terms and conditions of the policy).

    Likewise, if the hotel or resort (for independent travellers) you’re due to visit, suffers from a terrorist attack in the days leading up to your travel, you will generally be able to claim.

    Just check your policy wording carefully before buying.

  6. Who pays if I need to be hospitalised overseas or flown back to the UK?

    If you have proper travel insurance, the insurance company should pay for these costs. On the rare occasions that they do not for some reason, it may fall to you to cover the costs.

    Please ensure you check your policy wording to see what is and is not covered before travelling.

  7. Is a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) the same as health insurance?

    No. The free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) shows that the holder is entitled to reduced or free emergency care only within the EU. You will still need travel insurance to ensure you will be covered fully in the event of illness or injury.

    The EHIC card will help though, by reducing your initial outlay before you can be reimbursed by your travel insurance company. You can use the EHIC until it expires, even though we are no longer part of the EU.

  8. Is my pre existing medical condition a big issue?

    Declaring existing medical conditions when taking out your policy is really important.

    If you fail to declare a medical condition when you buy your travel insurance, you’ll be unable to claim on it.

    Declaring medical conditions may increase the policy price (depending on the condition) but it is absolutely necessary. Comparison sites will ask these questions and you should always fill them out correctly.

    As always, the key advice here is to check the policy wording with a fine tooth comb.

  9. How can I find out whether it is safe to travel to a particular country?

    We strongly advised that you check the FCO Travel Advice website before travelling. This information is regularly updated and should give you the correct advice on where is and is not safe to travel (remember, areas officially outlined as ‘unsafe’ will seldom be covered by travel insurance policies).

  10. Is it safe to travel after a terrorist attack overseas?

    Unfortunately, there is no such thing as risk-free travel, and the absence of advice against travel to a particular country or area does not imply that the FCO guarantees safety in that country or area.

We hope this travel insurance FAQ has proved useful – It’s only really scratching the service and each policy is different, but with this advice you should be in a better position to shop around, next time you need to purchase travel insurance.

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