It might draw a long sigh from some. But even the most committed vagabond needs a good travel insurance policy. Don’t despair. Despite what some people think, great cover can be cheap and super-easy to fix – giving you all you need to travel in confidence without slaying your budget. You just need to know what to look for…
Dodge expensive medical bills
The most important part of any travel insurance policy is the medical cover. Without it you could be left facing Herculean medical bills if you unexpectedly need treatment while you’re abroad. So what should you look for? Well, good medical travel insurance should give you at least £5 million of cover for medical costs. Some insurers, like World First Travel Insurance, also give you 24/7 access to an emergency medical assistance helpline. It’s good to know that help is there if you need it.
In a recent study conducted by the Foreign Office, 48% of 2,000 Brits didn’t realise that without travel insurance they would be liable to pay for their own medical bills if they were injured or taken ill abroad.
Remember: cheapest isn’t always best
When you’re on a tight budget, it’s extremely tempting to get the cheapest travel policy you can find. But beware. As is usually the case, you tend to get what you pay for. A cheap policy might look great at first glance, but once you get in to the small print you could find a long list of exclusions that exempt your insurer from paying out in all kinds of circumstances. No one’s saying you have to spend a fortune here – good travel insurance can still be a bargain. Just keep your wits about you if you’re weighing up the cheapest policy on the market. Paying a little extra is usually worth it for the increased service you’ll receive.
Travelling with a medical condition?
Did you know that if you fail to declare a medical condition to your insurer before you travel, you could invalidate your entire policy? That would be the same as travelling without insurance and is NOT recommended. Most insurers will cover medical conditions without any quibbles. However, if your condition is more serious, some insurers will charge you a fortune while others simply turn you away. The answer is to find a medical travel insurance expert. There are insurers out there who specialise in covering complex conditions, without destroying your holiday budget.
What happens if have to cancel your plans?
Another key part of travel insurance is the cancellation cover. It’s no secret that holiday plans can be pricey. And it’s not always possible to get your money back if something forces you to cancel your plans at the last minute. Good cancellation cover will help, allowing you to recoup unrecoverable travel and accommodation costs. A good tip is to choose a policy with cancellation cover that matches the cost of your holiday. For example, a policy with a maximum cancellation payout of £500 isn’t much use if you could potentially lose £3,000.
Watch the excess
No matter which travel insurance policy you choose, it’s likely that there will be an excess. This is the amount you will need to pay to your insurer if you need to make a claim. Generally speaking, the cheaper the policy, the higher the excess. So spend five minutes thinking about how much you’d be comfortable paying in the event of a claim and choose your policy accordingly.
So you want to see the world?
Keen to take off and travel the world? World First’s backpacker travel insurance gives you all you need for the trip of a lifetime, with up to twelve months of cover to go anywhere, any time. You’ll get £5 million medical cover, £3,000 cancellation cover and protection for the loss or theft of your cash, luggage and valuables. World First also cover more than 2,000 medical conditions and you’ll be given access to 24/7 emergency medical assistance and customer support channels. And because travelling is about adventure, you’ll be covered for over 75 sports and activities too – from canoeing to camel riding.
Who said travel insurance had to be tiresome?
This guest post was written for Johnny Vagabond by World First Travel Insurance.