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Travel Insurance

Travel insurance, which is also referred to as holiday insurance, provides you with protection if you become ill or are involved in an accident while traveling.  If either of these occur, you can be facing a serious financial burden.  With insurance, on the other hand, you can save yourself money – even if your vacation didn’t go as you had hoped.

Taking Care of Your Health While Traveling

Many UK residents don’t realize the potentially high costs involved with receiving healthcare while traveling abroad.  After all, not all countries have a reciprocal healthcare arrangement with the UK.  Even with those countries that do have an agreement, it is generally limited to emergency procedures.  Therefore, if you were to suffer from a hip fracture in the United States, you could pay over £23,000 for medical care.  If you suffer from a heart attack in Spain, you can pay over £35,000 for your care.  With travel insurance these expenses can be paid on your behalf.

Protecting Your Property

Of course, travel insurance isn’t all about protecting your health.  It can also help you protect your property while also providing you with compensation if you run into problems while on vacation.  Some things that are typically covered by travel insurance include:

  • Loss of luggage
  • Loss of passports or money
  • Repatriation costs
  • Loss resulting from cancelled or delayed flights

Considering the fact that travel insurance is relatively inexpensive, it is certainly worth paying for the added protection it provides.

Types of Travel Insurance

You may be surprised to learn that there are actually different types of travel insurance available.  These include:

  • Annual travel insurance – provides you with coverage for all of the trips you take over the course of one year, though they generally have a limit on the total number of trip days that are covered per year.
  • Single trip travel insurance – provides you with coverage for one specific trip, which can be more costly than annual travel insurance if you take more than one trip per year.
  • Family travel insurance – provides coverage for parents as well as their children rather than needing to take out individual policies on each person.
  • Business travel insurance – usually only available as an annual policy, this insurance provides you with protection when traveling for work.  The policies are specifically geared toward typical business needs, such as providing coverage for laptops or other items typically carried while on business travel.
  • Over 65s travel insurance – tailored specifically to the older crowd, which typically has more difficulty with obtaining travel insurance, and provides additional coverage for emergency medical procedures
  • Winter sports travel insurance – specifically geared toward those that enjoy participating in winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding, while traveling.
  • Adventure travel insurance – policies for those that enjoy participating in riskier activities while on holiday, such as white water rafting or bungee jumping.
  • Backpackers travel insurance – also referred to as “long stay coverage,” this policy covers a trip that will last for a long period of time.  Periods of time covered by these policies generally range from three to eighteen months.

It is important to consider your travel needs and plans when determining the type of coverage you need.

Determining How Much Coverage You Need

The amount of coverage you need from your travel insurance coverage is a matter of personal preference.  You need to examine your health, your holiday plans, and the value of the items you are bringing with you on your trip.  As a general rule of thumb, however, it is best to have the following coverage amounts in place:

  • Medical Expenses - £2,000,000
  • Personal Liability - £1,000,000
  • Cancellation - £3,000
  • Baggage - £1,500
  • Cash - £250

It is also a good idea to have a 24 hour emergency line as well as cover for legal costs you encounter while on holiday.

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