If you’re booking a weekend break, a long holiday, gap year, or even if you’re thinking about living and working abroad, insurance is something you can’t afford to forget about.
Whether you take out European or International Private Medical Insurance, Expat Insurance or just Travel Insurance, it’s important you understand the ins and outs of what you’re getting.
Read on for our collection of 10 insurance tips you need to know if you’re going abroad.
So many people are caught out every year by unexpected medical bills whilst abroad – with medical costs sometimes coming in at well over £10,000.
Flight delays, lost luggage illness and injuries are some of the most common claims on travel policies, and in comparison, the cost of insurance seems quite reasonable.
Remember: unless your existing medical insurance policy specifically states so, it won’t cover your medical fees abroad – you will need to secure separate insurance.
Cheaper policies might not provide the cover you need and online quotes might not include information about any pre-existing conditions you have.
There are lots of factors to a travel insurance policy, and it can be easy to overlook something important you may need to claim for later.
Some questions you need to ask are:
An excess is the part of the claim you have to pay before your insurer pays out. As a rule of thumb, the higher the excess the cheaper your insurance premiums. It can be tempting to take the highest excess possible, but make sure you consider whether you can afford to pay the excess if you need to claim.
Not all international health and travel insurances are born equal – in fact most policies are designed to offer different levels of cover depending on where you’re going, for example a European insurance policy vs. a Worldwide insurance policy.
This is because health systems, ‘risk levels’ and access to medical care differs across countries and regions, making it important to make sure you’re buying the right level of cover for where you’re going.
Don’t make assumptions on what is and isn’t included – for example, some ‘Worldwide’ policies actually exclude the US or Canada, and some ‘European’ policies include North Africa and Turkey. Always check before buying.
Most travel insurance policies won’t cover ‘high-risk activities’ as standard. Horse riding, mountain climbing, scuba-diving and skiing are all sports which you’d need to include in your insurance as ‘optional extras’ – usually at an additional cost.
(Remember – your interpretation of risk might be different to your insurers!)
It’s quite common for home and contents insurance policies to cover your personal possessions when you’re away from home, in which case you might not need this benefit as part of your travel insurance.
Travel insurance comes in two forms – single-trip and annual/multi-trip. If you’re a bit of a jetsetter, or just likely to go abroad a couple of times in a year, it might be more cost effective and straightforward to take out an annual policy.
The majority of travel insurance policies cover trips up to a month, so if you’re going away for longer than this you may require specialist cover, or an international health insurance policy instead.
If you are travelling through or working in Europe, the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will cover your emergency medical treatments but will not cover your travel plans or your belongings, so isn’t an alternative to travel or health insurance.
Whatever your situation, insurance should be a priority when going abroad. At Chase Templeton, we’re experts in helping individuals, families and businesses protect themselves and their belongings wherever they are in the world.
For free, impartial advice on what might work for you – Contact Us today.