Itís not compulsory to buy Travel Insurance before you travel, if you donít want to buy travel insurance then you donít have too, but obviously there are advantages and itís not as expensive as you might think because you can buy single trip or multi trip insurance.
Single Trip Insurance
The cheapest travel insurance is single trip insurance, your going somewhere for your holidays or for business and worried that you might have to pay bills if you need medical treatment or you lose your luggage or there is a strike at the airport or a volcano erupts and you canít get home.
If there are things that delay you like a strike or smoke from a volcano then travel insurance can be claimed upon after your trip, so say for example you have to stay in a hotel for an extra night due to a strike or canít fly because of smoke from an erupting volcano (its actually happened across Europe a few years ago), then any bills you incur for staying at the hotel or alternative travel arrangements like having to rent a car can be claimed on your insurance when you return home.
Travel Insurance Claim
Just keep any receipts and remember to always ask for receipts, that way, on your return from holiday you can scan the receipts and email them in to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Now just a note about volcanoes erupting whilst my own insurance was with Direct Line at the time and they paid out for my travel claims due to volcano smoke cancelling my flight, the next year on renewal of my insurance Direct Line had added a clause to prevent payout on the event of a volcano erupting, so always read the small print on renewal as what you have in your travel insurance policy one year might not be in your policy the next year.
Multi Trip Cover
As well as single trip cover which is the cheapest travel insurance there is also multi trip cover, so if you know you will be travelling regularly with weekends abroad or if you have to travel for work then multi trip insurance would be ideal, you might find that your job requires you to travel but does not offer travel insurance to its employees, then its best you take out your own travel insurance, just remember to tell the insurance company that the insurance is for business ravel as an individual and you shouldnít pay too much of a premium.
You can have individual insurance just for yourself or family insurance for you and your husband or wife and children, its more economical to buy family travel insurance than individual insurance for each member of your family.
If your going on holiday then your have to make sure that you buy insurance for the type of holiday you plan, for example if your going skiing your need ski insurance or winter sports cover or if your going diving your need diving insurance and if your going paragliding or hot air ballooning then your need sports cover (or in some cases dangerous sports cover).
If your over fifty years old your be able to get your travel insurance cheaper, primarily because the older you are statistically the more gentle your holiday will be and your less likely to injure yourself by falling down drunk and requiring medial attention or being involved in a car accident due to dangerous driving.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
If you have a pre-existing medical condition then your usually (although not always) have to declare it on the application for, for instance if you have a heart condition or have suffered for a stroke or have recently been admitted into hospital your have to declare these things as this makes you more of a risk that your actually be claiming on the insurance and if your claiming then this costs the insurance company money so your premium (the amount you pay for your travel insurance) will be higher.
You can choose basic travel insurance or go for a premium insurance option which includes things like lost luggage insurance, strike insurance and cancellation insurance meaning that if you lose your luggage or more accurately the airport lose your luggage then you can make a claim on your return to England for the loss of not only the suitcase but the clothes and gadgets in the suitcase.
Another option that might come with your travel insurance or might be an optional extra depending on what insurance policy you go for is gadget insurance this will cover the loss or damage of gadgets like mobile phones, computers, games consoles, tablets and so on itís very easy to leave a phone in the local restaurant and then find it has gone when you return to ask if anyone has seen it, with gadget insurance as part of your holiday insurance package your be covered and be able to make a claim on your return.
Now travel insurance will also include medical insurance for whilst your abroad, in the UK we are used to the NHS and doctors surgery treating us for free, but abroad you have to pay for your medical care and if you donít have medical insurance then that will be very expensive.
Some travel insurance polices will ask that you pay for your own medical treatment, like the local doctor charging you for some medicine for your upset stomach and other travel insurance policies will give you a medical emergency phone number that you can ring so that a local doctor or hospital treatment can be provided for you.
In the most severe of medical emergencies the travel insurance will pay to have you repatriated, that is flown home on a medical aircraft with you on a stretcher or with life support equipment, obviously we hope that doesnít happen but should there be an accident we want medical insurance that will pay for us to be flown home.
Some holidays are more dangerous than others, if your going skiing or diving or paragliding then your need insurance that includes these sports and you have to tell the insurance company that you will be doing these sports whilst on holiday (or at least check the insurance policy to make sure that what you bought includes the sports that you will be doing).
Cruise Holiday Insurance
If your gong on a cruise holiday then your need travel insurance that covers cruise ships, remember that many people have gotten sick with vomiting viruses and flu on cruise ships, Iím not telling you that to put you off your luxury cruise, but just to remind you that your want holiday insurance to pay out if your holiday is ruined because your ill for most of the holiday.
Golf Holiday Insurance
If your going on a golf holiday then your need golf insurance, it might sound silly that your need a separate holiday insurance policy to play golf but most holiday insurance will not include golf unless the policy has a sports policy or you specifically ask for golf cover, the reason being is that your want your golf clubs insured in the event that they get lost or stolen or damaged on the aircraft and your want medical insurance should you be taken ill whilst out on the fairway.
Annual travel insurance will insure you or your entire family for the whole year, itís really easy to renew as your get a letter through the post or email if you purchased your insurance online that says your insurance is about to expire and that as they have your credit or debit card already on file they will renew the policy unless you contact them within the next thirty days to cancel.
Automatically Renewing Your Travel Insurance
Automatically renewing your travel insurance in this way makes it very easy but be careful that you cancel your policy if your not actually travelling any more, its easy to keep auto renewing your insurance through laziness even when you donít need it and indeed that is what insurance companies rely on with auto renewing polices.
Also consider cancellation insurance, with this if your flight is cancelled or delayed or your train is cancelled your be able to claim the cost of the ticket back from the insurance company, if you have a multi leg trip where one flight follows on from another with only an hour or two spare the cancellation or late arrival of one flight will mean that your miss all flights, with travel insurance your be able to claim for any tickets that you had to repurchase or booking fees you had to pay when you reorganised your travel.
Making A Claim
With travel insurance generally you make a claim for anything additional you had to pay for once you get back from your holiday, of course for the more serious expenses like medical care or robbery where all your cash and credit cards have been stolen the twenty four hour emergency helpline that most travel insurance companies offer should be used.
If your a couple then you can buy couple insurance rather than buying two separate holiday insurance packages which would be more expensive, thereís family insurance and group insurance to, if your organising a stag or hen weekend abroad then its highly recommended that you get holiday insurance as if alcohol is involved thereís a greater risk of someone in the group needing medical cover or loosing their bag or their mobile phone and needing to make a claim on their return,
Whilst you must declare any medical conditions if asked some holiday insurance is advertised as all medical conditions covered where you donít have to declare any medical conditions you have, you might prefer this for reasons of privacy or fear that you might not get insurance cover if you are asked to declare.
Itís easy to get a travel insurance quote online or on the phone if you prefer and remember a quote is not legally binding in any way, the quote is usually good for 48 hours at least (sometimes longer) so you can shop around and look for the cheapest quote or the quote that covers the exact sports that you want to do.
Some countries are excluded from travel insurance or your have to ask for a specific country be included with the insurance, generally countries with civil unrest will not be covered without prior agreement and war zones will not be covered at all, except for business insurance where the company requires employees to work in a war zone for example engineers required to repair bridges or telephone lines in a war torn country.
Winter sports cover for skiing and other snow sports like snowboarding is part of the standard holiday insurance package and as its so easy to break a leg or twist an ankle on the slopes its highly recommended that you get this insurance for you and your family.
If your going backpacking your be pleased to know that you can get insurance for backpackers this insurance can be valid for the length of your travels for example one month, two months, six months a year etc. and will cover multiple countries (you should state which countries you are going to and what activities you will be doing in each country).
Ski insurance is the most common type of sports holiday insurance and will often include replacement of your own skiís and ski equipment like boots and clothing if you take your own to the ski resort with you, itís easy to damage your skis on the slopes, or lose your skis at the hotel or in transit and as skiís and ski equipment and clothing are very expensive (especially for the whole family) then its well worth getting winter sports cover to save you the expense of having to replace the clothing and equipment yourself.
Lost luggage is unfortunately very common when on holiday and having travel insurance that will replace not only your suitcases and clothing but your gadgets like your laptop and mobile phone is very reassuring, donít worry you wonít be required to produce receipts for all your clothing or mobile phone, your only have to list out what you lost.