Which? top 5 travel insurance tipsHow to get the best travel cover

09 August 2013

Travel insurance

Many people will be setting off overseas for their family holiday over the next couple of weeks and it’s always important to get the right travel insurance in place before you go.

Finding cheap travel insurance is desirable, but there are other considerations when it comes to choosing the right policy for you. Which? provides timely reminders and some tips to help you get fully covered.

1. Remember the EHIC

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the old E111 some years ago. Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return.

It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth.

The EHIC is valid in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries and you can apply for a free EHIC online and the card is entirely free of charge. However, other unofficial websites may charge you if you apply through them.

2. Adequate medical cover is vital

Travel insurance covers a multitude of different eventualities, but probably the most important part of the policy is the section on emergency medical and repatriation costs. If something untoward does happen, you’ll want to be reassured that medical bills can be met.

This is certainly the case when you are travelling to the USA with its high medical costs. All of our Best Rate policies include at least £2 million of medical cover for Europe and £5 million worldwide.

3. Cover your gadgets

Which? has found that the single-item and overall valuables limits on standard travel insurance policies are low, often only between £200 and £300 for the former. This means that if you lose or damage your smartphone, tablet or watch when abroad, you could be left out of pocket.

Many people now take expensive gadgets with them when they go on holiday, and it’s important to cover these. Extending your home insurance cover to include personal possessions away from home is one option, and you can also ask your travel insurer if it will extend cover on your gadgets for an extra premium.

4. Cancellation woes

The cancellation provision in your travel insurance policy is also important and worth checking to see how much cover you actually get. Our Best Rate policies have cancellation and curtailment cover to the tune of £3,000.

You should remember, of course, that you’ll need to arrange your single-trip policy at a relatively early date in order to be covered for possible cancellation.

If you have to cancel due to an illness to a member of your party or a close relative, which stems from a pre-existing medical condition that you didn’t mention when booking the policy, your claim probably won’t be met.

5. Medical conditions

Getting reasonably-priced travel insurance can be tricky if you have a pre-existing medical condition, such as heart problems or if you’ve had cancer in the past. You’ll probably need to have a discussion with an insurer and explain about your medical condition.

Specialist companies such as Insurance With, Good to Go Insurance and Insure Cancer will often be more prepared to cover for your trip than mainstream travel insurers. You’ll need to declare all conditions, even if you are no longer receiving treatment for the condition.

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