There are few things families look forward to more than a holiday abroad, but what should be fun can quickly become a misery if something goes wrong and you’re ill-prepared. Having the right travel insurance policy in place offers vital peace of mind for you and your family, but many holidaymakers set off without arranging coverage.
We have prepared a short guide to what you need to know so you can focus on making the most of your trip.
Make sure you have holiday insurance
Travel insurance may not be compulsory, but by making it a priority, you can help minimise the challenges you face if something goes wrong when you’re abroad. The right policy can protect you and your family from financial costs incurred should you need to cancel or curtail a trip for reasons beyond your control. Insurance can also help cover costs incurred by transport delays or cancellations, or help if you lose or damage your belongings while you are away.
Perhaps most importantly, if you or a relative become ill or are injured in an accident while abroad, travel insurance should cover the cost of most treatment and additional expenses incurred as a result of your circumstances. The right policy will also offer ‘personal liability’ cover should you be found financially responsible for injuring someone else or damaging property.
With the average annual travel insurance policy priced at £37, the average holiday medical claim at £1,300 and the average cancellation claim at £816, not taking out appropriate travel insurance could prove to be a costly decision.
What sort of holiday insurance?
There is no shortage of travel insurance policies and providers, which can make choosing between them a daunting prospect.
Don’t be tempted to just opt for the cheapest policy: it is likely you’ll get what you paid for. Do your research, consider your family’s unique needs and read the small print. Policy coverage and restrictions should be clearly stated. Comparison sites can prove helpful as they tend to highlight what is and isn’t included.
You should consider the policy’s medical expense limits, namely how much you’ll be able to claim back should you need to use your insurance. Check whether the policy will cover you in the country you are visiting and if it includes a repatriation service that would get you safely home should you miss your return flight because of medical treatment. You should also consider its coverage for cancellations, delays or missed departures, lost baggage and personal liability. How many people you are seeking coverage for, where you are heading, how long you are away for, what you have planned while you’re there and how often you travel can all impact the type of policy you need.
To ensure you have appropriate medical coverage for your needs, remember to declare any prior health conditions.
What happens if you don’t have holiday insurance?
If you do not take out travel insurance and fall ill or get injured while on holiday, you will be responsible for covering any medical costs incurred while you are away. Depending on the country you are visiting and the nature of your illness or injury, medical bills could run into five or even six figures, not to mention any additional costs incurred to get home afterwards.
Many British people travelling within Europe believe the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) acts as a replacement to travel insurance. It does not. An EHIC entitles you to state healthcare, but it is important to remember standards of care vary between countries, an EHIC does not cover additional fees (such as transportation), and you may have to pay upfront and recover the costs when you return to the UK (for now, but subject to Brexit).
What can you do if you have an accident abroad?
While you can’t always prevent accidents happening, there are things you can do to ensure you are prepared if you or a family member is involved in an accident while you are on holiday.
Make a note of your travel insurance policy number and an emergency contact telephone number and keep them with you so you can contact your insurer as soon as possible.
Holiday accidents can cover a range of illnesses and injuries, from food poisoning to a broken arm, as well as brain or spinal cord injuries. If you or a family member has been injured or fallen ill because of someone else’s negligence, then you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim. You should seek medical treatment immediately, keep receipts for any costs incurred as a result of your holiday accident, and seek advice from a legal professional as soon as you get home.
Holiday accident compensation claims can be complicated, but Thompsons Solicitors are personal injury specialists with years of experience in securing holiday accident personal injury claims. We will not only advise you regarding the validity of your claim but also guide you through the process of starting one.
If you are thinking about starting a holiday accident claim, simply fill in our short online claim form or call us on 0800 0 224 224.