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Summer holidays 2019: how to protect your trip and home before jetting off

Don’t get caught out by forgetting these travel and insurance must-haves

Over a third of British holidaymakers don’t have travel insurance in place for their holidays this summer, new research from the Association of British Travel Insurers (ABTA) has found. And that’s not the only risk travellers are taking.

The figures showed that 38% of people planning to go overseas this summer have not yet bought travel insurance.

One fifth (21%) of holidaymakers said they’d travelled without insurance in 2018. Of those people, 37% said they didn’t think they needed travel insurance and 28% said it was a risk they were willing to take.

But those who shunned insurance could end up feeling the pinch. Travellers who had too little travel insurance, no policy at all or the wrong type of cover, had to fork out between £500 and £4,000 to cover the cost of mishaps on their summer holiday.

Here, we take a look at why you’re really putting yourself at risk by not getting travel insurance and ways to protect your home and car while you’re on holiday, too.


Why is travel insurance important?

While it often gets overlooked, travel insurance is an essential part of your holiday.

Ideally, travel insurance should be bought as soon as you’ve booked your trip.

This is because, as well as medical treatment and assistance, a travel insurance policy will also cover cancellations and other mishaps that might crop up before you actually set off.

It can also offer some protection if you have to cancel your holiday entirely. 

Booking your holiday insurance early gives you the chance to really shop around for the best travel insurance policy at a competitive price.

Can I rely on my Ehic instead?

A European Health insurance Card (Ehic), is a free document which can be used throughout the EU and in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland to access healthcare. It entitles you to treatment in state hospitals at the same price as residents of the country you’re visiting, which is often for free.

If you’re heading to a European destination, an Ehic can be a useful thing to bring with you, but it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for a comprehensive travel policy.

Unlike travel insurance, your Ehic won’t cover the costs of emergency rescue, or your return to the UK if you need air ambulance transport. It also won’t cover your travel companion’s costs if you need someone to stay with you while you recuperate.

In addition, travel insurance policies usually offer a number of other elements, including personal accident cover, legal expenses insurance, sports equipment cover and insurance for disasters and unexpected events.

What kind of travel insurance do you need?

While it’s wise to shop around, it’s important to find the right level of cover for you – the cheapest policy isn’t always going to cut it.

As a minimum, Which? suggests that your travel policy should cover the following:

Emergency medical cover £2m in Europe or £5m worldwide
Cancellation, curtailment and missed departure cover £3,000
Personal belongings and money cover £1,500
Personal liability cover £1m

Policies may also exclude common holiday activities, such as scuba diving or horse riding, so make sure you’re covered for any activities you might like to try.

Before taking out a travel insurance policy, it’s important to read the terms and conditions to make sure it’s suitable for you and covers everything that you need.

How to keep your home secure while on holiday

For a lot of us, holidays can never seem long enough. But bear in mind that the longer your home is unoccupied, the greater the risk of it being targeted by criminals.

Almost 72.8m Brits travel abroad in 2017, spending an average of 10 nights away, according to the latest UK Tourism figures.

So whether you’re planning on chilling poolside in Santorini or trekking through the Atlas Mountains, here are some tips on keeping your home safe.

1) Make sure you have the right home insurance cover

While most home contents insurance policies cover incidents of burglary, there are some exemptions you should know about.

Leaving your home unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days, for example, may result in your claim being rejected. Some insurers will allow you to put extra cover in place if your trip lasts longer than that but you’ll need to let them know in advance.

2) Ensure everything is locked and secure

Before setting off, make sure that any entry points to your home such as windows, doors and gates are secured. This goes for outbuildings like garages, sheds and greenhouses too. 

Investing in your home security is a good idea generally, but if you’re going on an extended trip, ensuring that you have a home security system fitted will not only give you peace of mind, but also reduce the risk of you being targeted by criminals. 

Beefing up your home’s security can also help you find cheap home insurance too. 

3) Don’t advertise the fact that you’re away

As well as our travel companions, many of us bring our social media followers on our holidays too. While it’s become part and parcel of most trips to post holiday snaps online, it’s worth waiting until you return to avoid advertising that your home is empty. 

If you simply can’t resist the urge, be sure to adjust the settings on your social media accounts so that only close family and friends can see your updates.

To help you find the best home insurance policy experts have analysed the standard contents insurance and buildings insurance policies of over 30 providers and combined that with feedback from thousands of customers to produce impartial home insurance company insurance reviews.

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