Travel insurance covers you for the cost of unexpected events that can occur while you are abroad.
The main purpose of which, is to cover you for the potentially high cost of medical treatment and repatriation, if you are injured or fall ill abroad, particularly in countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA)*.
If you need medical treatment while travelling within the EEA, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows you to receive treatment on the same basis (for example, free or at a reduced cost) as people who live in that country.* The EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance – you should still take out travel insurance if you are travelling to a country within the EEA. As you will have seen from the press coverage it is unclear if the EHIC will be affected by BREXIT.
An EHIC card can be obtained online by visiting https://www.gov.uk/european-health-insurance-card
MEDICAL TREATMENT & REPATRIATION
Policies vary from insurer to insurer, but most travel insurance policies should include:
· emergency medical treatment costs, including hospital charges and ambulance fees
· returning you home following medical treatment abroad if you cannot use your original ticket
· reasonable additional transport and/or accommodation expenses for a close relative or friend to stay with you or travel from the UK to escort you if required
· temporary emergency dental treatment for the relief of immediate pain
· 24 hour assistance helplines to offer support and advice about appropriate treatment
It is important to answer any questions from your insurer about your medical history fully and honestly, including any pre-existing medical conditions you may have. Withholding details of your medical history may mean you are not fully covered.
Some policies will also include or offer the following additional cover for you to consider:
· personal liability cover if you accidentally cause an injury to someone or damage their property and they choose to sue you
· personal accident cover that pays a lump sum to you or your estate if you suffer a severe accident during your trip that results in permanent disability, or death
· cover for lost and stolen possessions
· check the travel insurance policy limits and excesses are appropriate for the value of possessions you are taking on holiday
· you may already have travel insurance as part of a bank account/credit card, or your home contents insurance may already cover your possessions when you take them abroad. Check your policy to see what it covers
· legal expenses cover helps you to pursue compensation or damages following personal injury while you’re abroad which is important in countries without a legal aid system
· cover for cancellation and curtailment (cutting your trip short) in certain circumstances
· hazardous sports or leisure activities such as skiing or bungee jumping – you may need to extend your policy or buy a specialist policy to get cover for these
As with all insurance policies there are policy excesses applicable to each section of cover.
Please note that the additional covers may have relatively modest sums insured, which mean that in the event of, for instance, a loss of personal possessions, it may be wise to check with your home insurers as their policy may be more appropriate for your claim.
If you have any doubt about which policy to claim from, please don’t hesitate to contact us immediately.
Please note that your insurance may not cover you if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), or the government of the country of your destination, advises against travel to that country.
To find out which countries the FCO advises against travelling to, see the FCO website.
See the FCO checklist and latest facts on the importance of taking out travel insurance:
· FCO Travel Insurance Checklist
· FCO Travel Insurance Facts
· Travel to volatile destinations
* The European Economic Area (EEA) is made up of the 28 European Union (EU) member states, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Hugh J Boswell Insurance Brokers