Saturday, April 7, 2018

What To look For In Travel Insurance : Covered and Not Covered


What To look For In Travel Insurance
What should I check in my policy before I buy travel insurance? As with any insurance product, before you buy travel insurance check all the terms, conditions, exclusions and inclusions. Travelling without the right cover can leave you seriously out of pocket.
Remember to check your excesses too. High excesses may result in a cheaper travel insurance policy but should only be considered if you can afford to front a large portion of the costs of any claim yourself.


TIPS before buy travel insurance

What's Typically Covered under a Travel Insurance Policy

Every travel insurance policy covers different things but all would offer a varying degree of cover on five main points:
  1. trip cancellation and interruption
  2. medical travel insurance
  3. evacuation
  4. baggage 
  5. flight insurance
Most cover includes some but not all of those points.

What’s generally not Covered under a Travel Insurance Policy

Apart from any pre-existing medical conditions, other common exclusions could include loss or injury suffered due to:
  • The influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting intentionally or recklessly
  • Belongings being unattended in a public place
  • Undertaking ‘adventure activities’ such as mountaineering, motor biking or off-piste skiing
  • Competing in professional sports.

Travel Insurance Medical cover

Medical cover is probably the most important aspect of your travel insurance. A study indicated that up to 22 – 64% of travellers fall ill while travelling with up to 8% requiring hospitalisation.
You would need to understand what conditions are covered and what the limits are on your medical expenses. These are all important questions that you should ask when you are trying to understand the medical coverage feature of your travel insurance.
Unforeseen illnesses, injuries or accidents will be covered under the medical section of your travel insurance policy. This covers the cost of receiving treatment overseas – including dental emergencies in most cases – and repatriation, the cost of having to fly you back to the your country.
On a slightly more morbid note, most travel insurance policies cover cremation costs or the repatriation of a body should you or someone else covered under the policy die during your holiday.

Cancellation 

Travel insurance policies also cover cancellation if you can no longer go on your holiday or you need to come back early. However, there needs to be a valid reason for you to abandon your trip.
Being made redundant, having to do jury service, or having to take care of a seriously ill family member are among the list of valid reasons.

Baggage and Personal Belongings

Your travel insurance policy will also cover you if your stuff is lost, stolen or damaged while you are on holiday. Almost everything you take overseas, including computers, phones, cameras and expensive clothing is included. Many travel insurance providers will also cover you for the loss of a passport, cash or a driving licence.

However, travel insurance policies can vary greatly both in the amount covered and in the excess – the amount you have to pay towards the claim yourself. For example, items such as cash or expensive goods can be subject to an additional higher excess.

Personal liability

Personal liability protects others and their property from accidents you may cause while on holiday. For example, the personal liability element of your travel insurance would cover you if, during a skiing trip, you crashed into another skier and injured them. Insurers will typically cover you for up to £2m, which is generally more than enough.

Delays

Travel schedules are often the victim of adverse weather, so delay cover is one of the more important aspects of travel insurance. Most travel insurance policies cover against more than just storms, with many including events such as industrial action and mechanical breakdown.

If your flight's been delayed for more than three hours or it's been cancelled you may be able to claim compensation of up to £470 directly from the airline but the reason for the delay or cancellation must be the airline's fault, so bad weather for example, won't count. sn't apply you can also try making a claim on your travel insurance policy. Insurers typically pay out for each 12-hour period you've been delayed, but the payouts are often tiny compared to what you can get from your airline.

What is typically left out of travel insurance cover?

Like all insurance policies, there are a number of things that travel insurance providers will not pay out for. Here are the most common:

Alcohol-related injury

You may be on holiday to unwind but if you are badly injured while you are more than just a little tipsy, your insurer is likely to reject your claim. The same goes for drugs. Insurers have different classifications of 'drunk', with some using blood alcohol limits, so check your travel insurance policy carefully before you buy.

Medical conditions

Insurers will often cover you if you have pre-existing medical conditions, but if you fail to tell your insurer and then need treatment for that condition, or a related condition, you won't be covered. You may also struggle to get a claim paid if you ignore advised medication or jabs needed to enter a country.

Dangerous sports

If you are going on an adventure holiday, or you are planning to take a winter sports break, you must get extra insurance cover or a insurance specialist policy. Taking to the Alps for a spot of snowboarding with just a basic travel insurance policy in your bag is a risk not worth taking. If you get injured you could end up paying £10,000s in medical bills.

Refused entry to visiting country

No one wants their holiday to end before it begins, but most standard travel insurance policies won't cover this type of scenario. Insurance policies have a list of scenarios they do cover (eg, theft, medical assistance).
To mitigate against problems, as it's your responsibility to check your travel documents are valid and you meet the entry requirements, always check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for the entry rules of the countries you're visiting well before travelling and give yourself plenty of time to get your paperwork in order.

Unattended possessions

Travel insurance will cover your personal possessions when you are abroad but it doesn't mean you can be gung ho with your stuff. If you leave your items unattended and they are then stolen, your insurer will not pay for their replacement.

Travel to dangerous countries

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) outlines which countries are unsafe for travel. If you travel to a country on the FCO's list your cover is likely to be invalid. Check out the FCO's current travel advice for more.

How to claim on your travel Insurance cover

Claiming on your travel insurance shouldn't be daunting and – if you understand the terms and excesses on your policy – you shouldn't be in for any nasty shocks. 

Five steps to claim on your travel insurance cover.

1. Submit your claim as soon as possible
Contact your insurer as soon as you can. Some parts of your travel insurance policy may have a short window to submit a claim and it may take a while to be processed.
2. If it's a medical claim get an insurer to accept it first
If you need to make a medical claim – and it is not an emergency – get an travel insurer to accept the claim over the phone first. For example, thieves make off with medicine kept in a handbag that you need urgently. If the travel insurer accepts the claim over the phone, you're less likely to be faced with a rejected claim later down the line. For obvious reasons, don't delay treatment if it is an emergency.
3. If it's a theft or loss claim notify the police
If something goes missing or is stolen when you are abroad you may need to get a crime reference number or the overseas equivalent to make a successful travel insurance claim. Report the incident to the police as soon as you can – you often have to do it within 24 hours to be able to claim – to make sure your travel insurance claim doesn't hit the skids.
4. Keep your receipts
If you are claiming for lost luggage or delay, remember to keep receipts of essential items you have bought in the interim, such as food and drink. Many travel insurers allow you to add these expenses to a claim and may ask for receipts as proof.
5. Complain if you feel your claim was unfairly rejected
If your travel insurance company rejects your claim, and you think it has done so wrongly, do not take it lying down. Complain to the free Financial Ombudsman. It's an independent adjudicator which will make the final decision on a claim if you are locked in a dispute with your travel insurer. 

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