How to choose the right level of travel cover

Let’s face it, no one really wants to spend oodles of time poring over the terms and conditions every time we sign up for something.

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But when it comes to buying travel insurance, it’s worth checking you are getting the right amount of cover you need.

Travel insurance ensures you’re covered if something unexpected (and often expensive) happens, such as an injury or lost luggage.

But just how much cover is the right amount of cover?

These are the minimum levels of cover we recommend and a short explanation why:

Medical expenses: £2m

If you are taken ill or have an injury while you are abroad, the medical costs you face are likely to be expensive.

Experts recommend choosing a policy that has £2m worth of medical cover as this will include repatriation costs and other costly medical assistance, which can spiral into thousands of pounds.

Some policies will offer more than £2m, but bear in mind this added level of cover could result in you paying over the odds for what you need.

Personal liability: £1m

Personal liability covers you for a whole host of claims such as injuring someone while skiing or damaging a property while you are away.

Protection of £1m should ensure you’re covered for most scenarios. 

Cancellation: £3,000

We recommend a cancellation cover limit of £3,000 (for two people) or the total cost of your holiday.

However, it’s worth checking exactly what your insurer will pay out for if you did have to cancel your holiday.

For example, take a look at your insurer’s bereavement clause should you be unable to go on your trip due to a death of a family member.

Baggage and belongings: £1,500

If your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged, insurers often have a cap on how much they will pay out. This is usually between £1,500 and £2,000, although some insurers will pay up to £2,500.

There is also usually a limit on how much your insurer will pay out for individual items, such as cameras and laptops. Limits can vary according to policy specifics, but are generally in the region of £250 - £500. 

If you have a gadget or expensive item that costs more than this, you’ll have to call your insurer to get it added on or get it insured separately.  

Cash: £250

As a minimum, we recommend you have cover of £250 in case your cash is lost or stolen.

You should however adjust this limit if you are planning on taking larger amounts of cash with you.

Several insurers have increased their cash limits for those travelling to Greece – you can read about this here.

Policy excesses: Under £100

The excess is how much you will have to pay towards your claim. For example, if your excess is £200 and you claim £500, your insurer will pay out £300.

The more you pay for your excess, the cheaper your policy will be. But watch out - if you increase the excess too much, you could find yourself out of pocket if you later have to make a claim.

It’s therefore better to keep your excess relatively low and pay a little more for your policy.

Additional extras to opt-in for: Cover for scheduled airline failure and end-supplier failure, and delay cover (e.g. £20/hour for first 12 hours)

Cover for end-supplier failure will ensure you get a full refund if your airline or accommodation supplier goes bust.

Similarly, cover for delays will ensure you’re compensated if your flight is delayed for more than 12 hours. It will cover the costs of essentials such as food and drink, so make sure you keep hold of any receipts. 

Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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