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Making sure you're covered on holiday

Getting ready to go on holiday is exciting, but before you start focusing on what to pack and which sights to see, remember there are a few things you'll need to take care of before you go. Travel insurance is vital for protecting yourself and the belongings you take with you. When it comes to choosing your travel insurance, it can be difficult to find a policy within your budget that covers your every need. Having the right insurance could save you time and money - we've put together a guide below to help you work out what you may need cover for ahead of your trip.

Medical cover

With emergency medical cover, your insurance provider will cover the costs of any bills incurred by personal injury or sudden illness abroad. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you must declare this to your provider, though, otherwise your policy could be invalidated.

Money

Some people choose to take cash on holiday to save money on withdrawals, but if this gets lost or stolen that's a portion of your holiday budget that you won't get back. If you do choose to take cash with you, make sure it's covered by your policy so your spending money is protected against theft and loss.

Personal items

If you're taking electrical goods, gadgets and jewellery with you on holiday, make sure these items are included in your policy. They can be expensive to replace, but with the right cover you should be able to claim the money back through your insurance. Always double check the terms and excess on your policy with everything you plan to take away with you.

Late departures and missed connections

There’s always the chance your flight might be delayed or cancelled, causing you to miss your connection. To make sure you don’t lose money in these circumstances, include them in your travel insurance. This can be even more important if you’re travelling with a budget airline, which may be less likely to reimburse you if your flight is cancelled. You may also want to include cover for a return flight, should you miss yours due to a medical emergency.

Cancellations

In the event that you can't travel because of personal circumstances such as a family bereavement or illness, it's important that your policy covers cancellation costs. It's impossible to predict when these things are going to happen, so make sure you're prepared.

Adventure travel

Anyone planning on going all out with activities and adventure sports while they’re on holiday should take out travel insurance that includes personal injury and equipment cover. If you’re hoping to try sports like bungee jumping or snowboarding while you’re away, having the right level of cover could prove vital if you find yourself in an accident.

Mountain rescue cover

Perhaps you're planning a trekking holiday, in which case you should look to include mountain rescue in your policy. It might sound extreme, but it could be essential if you get stranded. Make sure your insurance covers a high enough altitude so you're not caught out.

If you're uncertain about whether your chosen travel insurance policy covers all of your holiday plans, talk to your provider before confirming the agreement. They should be able to tell you everything you need to know and talk you through the policy's finer details.

What may not be covered by your travel insurance?

It's crucial you know your policy inside out before you leave, so you know precisely what's covered and what isn't. The most common travel insurance exclusions include:

  • Theft of unattended possessions - so make sure you don't leave anything behind as you move from place to place.
  • Extreme sports - the only way to cover sports such as white water rafting or sky diving is to take out a specialist policy or extend your cover.
  • Theft or accidents that have occurred after you've been drinking - be sensible and mindful of your belongings at all times.
  • Diseases, such as malaria, that are preventable by vaccination or other medication - speak to your doctor before your trip about any vaccinations or medications you may need.
  • Medical bills incurred abroad if you stay away after your doctor has declared you fit to return to your home country.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions that you have not declared to your provider before taking out a travel insurance policy.