TRAVEL INSURANCE MADE SIMPLE

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1 TRAVEL INSURANCE MADE SIMPLE Working with the profession to simplify the language of insurance

2 MAKE SURE YOU COVER UP IN THE SUN Whether you plan to soak up the sun in Spain, see the sights in Sydney or surf in South Africa it's essential to pack travel insurance with your passport and suntan lotion. Here's what you need to know. What is travel insurance? Travel insurance covers you for the cost of unexpected events that can occur while you are away on holiday. One of the main benefits you get by buying travel insurance is to cover you for the cost of medical treatment and repatriation, should you be injured or fall ill abroad. Medical treatment can be extremely expensive. Policies vary from insurer to insurer, but in addition to medical emergencies most cover things such as personal liability; if you injure someone else or damage their property, replacing lost and stolen possessions and the costs of having to cancel or cut your trip short. A range of other extensions to cover are available depending on which policy you buy.

3 Do I really need it? ILLN ESS ON ATI ELL JURY VICE SER You should buy a policy the moment you book your holiday. As well as having peace of mind that your trip is insured for most eventualities, it also provides valuable protection against any unforeseen events which may mean you have to cancel your holiday before you go such as a family member becoming ill, or being called up for jury service. NC When do I need to arrange it? CA It seems that we're more than happy to spend an average 1,937 on our main holiday, but don t always get round to arranging travel insurance one in five of us risks travelling uninsured. This doesn't make financial sense, especially when you consider the cost of flying a seriously ill British holidaymaker home from the Canary Islands by air ambulance is 23,000 compared with an average premium for travel insurance of 32. Unless you have deep pockets, travel insurance is a must. According to the Association of British Insurers, over a third of our travel insurance claims are for cancellations with an average payout of 700, second only to the typical 900 medical claim. So it's false economy to delay arranging cover. Over a third of our travel insurance claims are for cancellations with an average payout of 700

4 How much cover do I need? Everyone s insurance needs are different and it is important that you choose the policy that is right for you individually but in general terms you should look for a policy that provides at least: 250 for money, which includes cash, foreign currency and travellers cheques. You should check whether cover is included for credit and debit cards. 2m for medical expenses in Europe and 5m worldwide this covers the potentially very expensive bill for emergency medical treatment should you become ill or injured, and also a flight home by air ambulance, if necessary. 20 per hour (for the first 12 hours) if the departure of your plane or boat is delayed. This pays for expenses such as food and accommodation because your plane or boat is late leaving. 1m for personal liability this covers you if you are legally liable to pay compensation because you have injured someone or damaged his or her property. 3,000 for having to cancel or cut short your holiday or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday so you're not out of pocket. 1,500 for loss or theft of your baggage and possessions. Check whether cover is also included if your baggage is lost or delayed en route. You may need to look for a policy that has higher limits or provides more specialist cover if you are going to be away for a longer period of time or will be taking a lot of expensive possessions with you. Important: Cover limits, excesses and exclusions vary widely from policy to policy, so it's essential that you read the policy terms and conditions to find the policy which provides the level of cover you need, rather than just opting for the cheapest.

5 Am I covered already? Isn't an EHIC enough? EHIC tips to avoid a hiccup Some paid-for bank accounts and credit cards offer free 'on-going' travel insurance. However cover levels can be poor and there may be exclusions which mean you are not covered, such as if you're over a certain age or have an existing medical condition. You may also have to pay the cost of the holiday on the card to qualify. The European Health Insurance Card complements your travel insurance rather than replacing it. It gives you access to state-provided medical treatment in the country you are visiting. Each member of your family will need a separate EHIC card. But it isn't an alternative to travel insurance and you may still need to contribute towards the cost of your care. For example, in France a patient may be expected to pay for a consultation with a doctor up front but will have up to 70% of the cost reimbursed later. An EHIC can help to avoid paying a travel policy excess, as many insurers will waive the charge if you make a claim for medical care where an EHIC has been used. Your home contents insurance may also cover your baggage and personal belongings while you are abroad so check your home insurance policy wording before you buy travel insurance. Some insurers are prepared to remove the baggage and personal effects section from their travel policy, to avoid duplication of cover and will discount the premium accordingly. EUROPEAN HEALTH INSURANCE CARD AN E PE URO LTH HEA UR INS EC ANC ARD Check the expiry date well in advance of your departure date. You can apply for your free EHIC online at ehic.org.uk or call The NHS has created an EHIC app which includes a guide on how to use the card, emergency telephone numbers, covered treatments and costs and how to claim a reimbursement. Beware of official-looking websites which charge for an EHIC unnecessarily.

6 How to buy the best policy Remember to shop around. You can buy cover direct from an insurer, through a financial product provider such as a bank or, building society, through an insurance broker, or use internet comparison websites. Don t buy a policy based on price alone the cheapest policy may not cover all of your needs. Cheap is rarely cheerful! Read the policy wording carefully. You do not have to buy travel insurance from the travel agent, tour operator or holiday website which arranged your trip and it's likely you'll save money by buying cover independently. You can reduce your premium by increasing your excess the amount you promise to pay if you do make a claim. If you increase the amount of excess you can lower the cost of your premium. But make sure you can afford the excess in case you need to make a claim. Combining policies for couples and families usually works out cheaper. You can also look to buy your cover via cashback websites, so effectively lowering premiums further. Check that you're not paying over the odds because cover includes things you don t need perhaps winter sports for example. If you don t ski then don t waste money subsidising those policyholders who do.?

7 What to be aware of Travel insurance isn't straightforward. It covers a wider range of risks than any other type of insurance so double check you have the right policy before buying. Not all policies are the same. Medical conditions. Claims arising from any pre-existing medical conditions will not be covered unless you have declared your medical history to the insurer when you buy your policy and they have agreed to cover you. Often special terms will apply, such as an increased excess, an additional premium, or the exclusion of certain conditions. It's also important to tell your insurer if your medical history changes before you travel to make sure your policy remains valid. There are specialist insurers who will insure people with medical conditions or who are in remission from illnesses such as cancer. Frequent travellers. If you have more than one holiday a year, it can be more cost-effective to opt for an annual multi-trip policy. Hazardous activities. You'll need to tell your insurer if you will be doing sports like snowboarding and scuba diving or risky activities such as bungee jumping. Some insurers may be prepared to include cover if you pay an additional premium. Alternatively there are specialist policies available which are designed to cover such activities. You will need extra cover if you are doing extreme sports like snowboarding, scuba diving or a bungee jump

8 What else to be aware of Older travellers. Some standard travel insurance policies do not cover people over the age of say 65 or 70 years and some companies increase the premiums once you reach 50, particularly for annual policies. These increases reflect the higher risk that the insurers are taking on. Fortunately a number of specialist insurance companies offer cover for older travellers. Backpackers. If you re heading off for an extended break, whether it s a gap year or a sabbatical from work, it s important to choose a specialist policy that covers all the destinations you want to visit, the length of time you wish to be away for, as well as all the activities you want to undertake. Certain countries are considered off the map when it comes to insurance companies and are listed by the Foreign Office gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice as not suitable for travel, so check the insurer's guidelines before you go. It s important to choose a specialist policy that covers all the destinations you want to visit

9 What if I need to make a claim What if my insurer turns down my claim Take the travel policy paperwork and your insurer's helpline number with you on holiday. First, you must complain to your insurance company. Every insurer has a complaints procedure that you can follow if things go wrong, so check its website or give them a call. Formal complaints should be made in writing. In case of emergency, leave a photocopy of the policy with your family or friends. If something happens, call your insurer. Keep all documentation and get advice from your insurer before paying for anything. Keep receipts for everything you buy to support your claim. Check whether it's a new for old policy otherwise the amount you get for items you're claiming for will be less than the cost of replacing them. Get your insurer to agree to medical treatment before it's carried out. Report lost or stolen belongings to the local police within 24 hours of them going missing. They will give you a crime reference which your insurer will need. If this isn't possible, tell the person in charge. If they still do not resolve your complaint, ask the Financial Ombudsman Service (financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumer/ complaints.htm or ) for help. The service is free but the FOS will expect you to have exhausted your complaint with your insurer first. They will decide whether you have a valid claim or not. Source: ABI, GoCompare.com, Citizens Advice Bureau, M&S Travel Insurance and Moneysupermarket.com.

10 Remember if you have any questions about travel insurance, just ask me, Ciindy /AskCiindy

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