Booking a holiday is always exciting, even if your departure date is well in the future. In fact, having plenty of time before you leave allows you to secure the best deal for a very important element of your holiday: travel insurance.
This absolute holiday necessity – which covers everything from lost luggage to a medical emergency while you’re away – is not something you should just take for granted and choose willy-nilly.
But some people do take holiday insurance for granted and simply go with the cheapest option – even if it doesn’t cover everything they need.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled this short list of 3 travel insurance mistakes you absolutely need to avoid.
1. Never Get Travel Insurance From A Travel Agent
Travel insurance policies vary greatly and which cover is right for you will largely depend on things like where you are going, what you are doing and whether you have any pre-existing health conditions.
It’s important that you are covered for every eventuality while you’re away and that’s one of the reasons why you should avoid getting travel insurance from a travel agent.
As reported in the Express, travel agents are not licensed insurance agents and so cannot offer advice when it comes to policy specifics. As Kira Solomon outlined in the Express piece, it’s up to holidaymakers to ensure the policy they are being offered covers all of their needs.
Activity holidays and skiing trips, for example, require different cover, while travelling with expensive equipment might also need extra policy additions.
The bottom line is that travel agents may offer cover that simply doesn’t meet your needs and it’s up to you to ask the right questions of the insurance company.
2. Make Sure Your Insurance Starts ASAP
Let’s say you’ve booked a holiday and your departure date isn’t for another few months. It can be tempting to take out travel insurance, but not have it take effect until the day you leave. The problem with this is that you are not covered for anything that happens in between relating to your trip.
As highlighted by online publication This Is Money, a dream family holiday to Florida turned into a nightmare for a family when their trip had to be cancelled and they were left uninsured.
Unfortunately, in the case mentioned, the family were due to go on holiday on the Tuesday and so requested for their cover to begin at midnight on the Monday. However, when one of the group was taken ill on the Monday evening and told they couldn’t travel, the rest were left unable to make a claim because the policy hadn’t actually commenced.
To avoid situations like this, it’s always advisable to have your cover commencing as early as possible.
3. Don’t Invalidate Your Policy While You’re Away
Did you know that drinking too much alcohol while you are on holiday can invalidate your policy?
As Which? outlines in a recent article, the Financial Ombudsman has warned travellers “to read the fine print because alcohol exclusions are a common feature of travel insurance policies”.
The warning was issued after the ombudsman released its complaint figures for 2017. Some of the 900 complaints received regarded insurers that refused to pay out to individuals because alcohol was a factor in an accident they had while on holiday.
Holidays makers need to review every aspect of their plan, including the fine print and make sure they book their travel insurance at the same time as they book their holiday.