Don’t forget your travel insurance

With backlogs at the Passport Office and queues caused by extra security checks at airports making recent headlines, holiday makers might be forgiven for forgetting something that is just as important as a passport and security; travel insurance.

With millions of Britons expected to head off on their annual summer holiday in the next few weeks, here at Marchwood IFA we just wanted to make sure that all our clients remembered to check their travel insurance policies before they left and to provide a handy checklist of ‘Dos and Don’ts’.

DOs….. DON’Ts…..
Do ensure that you have a free EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) and that it is valid. (EHIC Guide here) Note that it is no substitute for travel insurance and is only valid in Europe. Don’t risk going overseas without cover, leaving yourself facing high medical bills if you fall ill or out of pocket if you need to cancel or cut short your trip.
Do check what counts as Europe/US/Worldwide. Don’t presume that a ‘Europe’ travel policy covers all countries in Europe (especially Spain and the Balearic Islands) Don’t forget to arrange travel insurance well before your holiday. The further away it is, the more likely you are to cancel it in advance.
Do work out exactly who in your party needs cover. Are some people covered by their own travel insurance, possibly via their bank account (e.g. the Nationwide Flexaccount) or credit card? Don’t just buy single trip cover; it is more than likely that annual insurance will work out cheaper if you travel twice within a year.
Do tell your home insurer if you are away for more than 30 days at a time, as leaving the property empty this long might invalidate your buildings and contents insurance. Don’t forget risky sports (including skiing and mountain biking) – they may need additional premiums to cover them.
Do tell your neighbours so they can keep an eye on your property – but don’t use social media to tell them (and everyone else). Ask your children not to tell their friends on Facebook about how long they’ll be on holiday. Don’t hide medical conditions. Tell the insurer everything. Any subsequent change in your circumstances needs to be declared, even if you think you’ll be better by the time you travel.
Do read the small print and check what isn’t covered and any applicable ‘excesses’ where you have to pay the first part of any claim. Don’t leave your emergency claims telephone number, travel certificate, EHIC or policy documents at home.
Do take all the telephone numbers you might need – not just Freephone 0800 but also +44 numbers that will work overseas. Don’t try to use standard travel insurance if you are going backpacking around the world.

We wish all our clients who are going on holiday this summer a safe and enjoyable trip!