Buying travel insurance is a tedious process at the best of times. So you could be forgiven for letting a few things slip through the net when you’re checking which policy to take out for your backpacking trip. But travel insurance is a necessity and it’s important to choose the right policy for you.
We all know that a travel insurance policy is a complex document, stacked full with information which any person would struggle to read without having a snooze. But it can be a minefield as often policies don’t cover what you expect them to and there is almost always a large amount of small print which could potentially cost you severely if something goes awry on your travels.
That said, there are perfect policies out there for everyone and you can find yours! Below are 6 key things to look out for when making your choice which might well save you a lot of time, money and struggle in the long run:
Policies often feature a Single Item Limit which is the most that will be paid out for one item. If you have high value items with you, it’s unlikely it will be covered. Be aware of a Total Items Limit as well, this is the total amount that will be paid if multiple items are lost/damaged. If you lose 4 items worth over £200 each, you might only get £300 back in total if that is your Total Items Limit.
This is when someone claims against you for injury or damage to their belongings. There are a huge amount of things that are rarely covered in this area such as when you are in charge of a car, working or activities like horse riding. Make sure you’re aware of which things your policy covers.
This does not cover the cost of any legal defence if you get yourself in bother whilst you’re travelling. It’s for something much worse. If you get into any trouble, injured or die whilst abroad then this is what you or your family can use to legally fight against someone who caused it.
Most policies have excesses. This is the amount that is deducted from your claim and means you can’t make small claims. Be sure that you’re aware of your excess so you don’t get caught out.
Cancellation is usually only relevant if it is caused by illness to you or your companion. Maybe jury service, but little else. If you realise you can’t afford to travel then you’re unlikely to be covered. Likewise if your airline or tour operator goes bust. Keep a close eye on this one, it doesn’t apply to much…
Again, this is one to go through with a fine tooth comb. Policies rarely cover common conditions like diabetes or asthma or existing ailments prior to the trip. Things like sports injuries also often fall outside the boundaries. So be careful if you’re going for a Thai Boxing session or plan to be hanging off mountains somewhere. Make sure you get your teeth checked thoroughly before you head off too. Policies only go so high when covering dentist fees.
These are some of the key, and often overlooked, things to keep an eye out for when choosing your travel insurance policy. Travel insurance is essential when going away. And I wouldn’t recommend anyone to get on a plane without it. But it is important to be aware of what things are covered before you head out to unknown shores and distant lands.
If you’ve got any of your own tips or experiences it would be great if you could share them in the comments!
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