Is your travel insurance up to scratch?

It’s the last bank holiday of the summer and thousands of people will be hitting the roads or heading overseas to take advantage of the long weekend. But is your travel insurance up to scratch?

Hikers in a forest
Travel insurance is a must if you’re going abroad. It protects you against everything from thieves nicking your camera to the cost of being repatriated back to the UK if you have a serious accident.

The key thing to remember when buying cover is that not all policies cover all events. This means that you shouldn’t automatically go for the cheapest policy you find - you need to find the right level of cover to suit your needs for the best price possible.
 
For example, do you want airline failure cover included? Perhaps you want to protect £1,000 of baggage rather than £500, or you are planning a ski trip and need a policy that covers you for winter sports and other adventurous activities.

You’re unlikely to get any of this protection with the very cheapest policies, so you have to look carefully at what’s included and potentially go for a higher quote.

Here are some top tips on getting the best possible protection for your trip abroad, without breaking the bank.

Compare policies

Use the moneysupermarket.com travel insurance comparison tool to compare different travel insurance policies and find the best deal.

It arranges insurers in order of premium price, meaning you could work down the table until you found the right level of cover.

Don’t assume that you’ll get cheaper cover if you go direct to the insurer. Many providers, including Your Travel Cover, Travelinsure Genie, Multitrip.com and Insure For Travel, have exclusive deals with moneysupermarket.com.

That means that our comparison tool can actually offer you cheaper premiums than you’d get even on these insurers’ own websites.

Remember too that you shouldn’t accept the cover offered to you by your travel agent before checking to see if you can find equivalent cover at a better price elsewhere.

Buy enough protection

So how much cover do you need? This depends, of course, on your individual circumstances. For example, if you are booking a particularly expensive break, you will need sufficient cancellation cover in place.

We recommend at least the following minimum cover:

  • £2m for medical expenses
  • £1m personal liability
  • £3,000 cancellation - or enough to cover the cost of your holiday
  • £1,500 baggage
  • £250 for cash
  • Policy excesses under £100
  • Cover for scheduled airline failure and end supplier failure as desirable
  • Delay cover (e.g. £20/hour for first 12 hours)

 Consider annual cover

If you’re jetting off on several trips a year then you could potentially save money by buying an annual insurance policy instead of covering each holiday separately.

You can choose between European and worldwide cover, but make sure your insurance covers all the trips you’re likely to take or you could find you have to buy additional protection. That’s going to undo any savings you make.

Staying in the UK?

More and more people are choosing to remain in the UK this summer, so if you’re enjoying a weekend’s camping or a long weekend at the seaside, it’s still a good idea to get covered.

Obviously it’s less urgent than if you’re heading overseas, because you wouldn’t face any expensive hospital bills if you had an accident while on holiday in this country.

On top of that, your possessions may well be protected by your home insurance policy as long as you’re on UK soil. It’s worth checking whether or not you have out-of-home cover as there’s no point insuring your belongings twice.

However, it’s still sensible to have travel insurance in place, for example, in case your B&B burns down before you get there. A family of four can buy a week-long policy for little more than a fiver.

Buy breakdown cover

If you’re getting away by car this weekend, you’re likely to see a fair few broken down vehicles at the side of the motorway.

There’s nothing more miserable than being stranded at the roadside and the cost of getting towed can run into hundreds of pounds. Breakdown cover need only cost a fraction of this and means you will get expert help usually well within the hour.

Some car insurance policies include breakdown protection automatically, but you can also buy a standalone policy that includes roadside repair, recovery to the nearest garage and even alternative travel and accommodation costs. Again, check cover limits carefully before you buy.

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