Sally is a key member of the MoneyMaxim editorial team. She is a frequent hire-car user and often goes on holiday with her family. With an interest in getting great value for money, Sally shares her hints and tips for travelling and insurance.
The best time to buy travel insurance is as soon as you have booked your holiday. We make it easy to compare travel insurance quotes and can also help with specialist holiday insurance cover should you need it.
Almost as soon as the Christmas decorations are down (and sometimes even earlier) our thoughts turn to plans for the new year, and often first on the list is a holiday. If arranging your next trip is on the agenda for you then add travel insurance as the next item.
You need to purchase a travel insurance policy as soon as your holiday is confirmed as without a policy in place you are not covered should you need to cancel.
There is a lot of excitement when it comes to booking your holiday - picking a location, planning activities, anticipating warmer weather - and it is easy to overlook the not-so-exciting practical arrangements such as travel insurance. Why not take a look at travel insurance options now so that you are ready to buy as soon as you have booked your holiday.
There are certain features which are often standard with most travel insurance policies. Check that they are included and to what level.
Emergency Medical Expenses - if you need medical treatment. This may also include dental treatment, hospital expenses and death benefits.
Cancellation or Curtailment Cover - what happens if you need to cancel or cut short your holiday? Understand which circumstances are covered and which aren't.
Repatriation - cover if you pass away while on away and need to be transported back home.
Delayed Departure - for losses due to such risks as adverse weather conditions and strike actions.
Missed Departure - if you miss a flight completely due to circumstances which could include the weather or transport delays.
Personal Liability - when you are held responsible for injury to a third person or to a third person's belongings.
Baggage Cover - to cover your luggage and belongings, for example if they are lost on your journey.
Hazardous Activities - if you are choosing a more adventurous holiday, and want to try hot air ballooning or bungee jumping for example, check whether your planned excursion is included. We can help you find travel insurance for many different sports and activities.
Winter Sports - skiing holidays can require tailored insurance for areas such as off-piste skiing, ski pass cover and snowboarding as well as standard skiing. Winter sports travel insurance is often an optional add-on.
Cruise Cover - holidays at sea may need specific travel insurance for cruises . These may include relevant cover such as Missed Port and Cabin Confinement.
Natural Disasters - one to look out for if you are travelling to areas that can be affected by environmental conditions for example hurricanes in Florida or volcanic ash clouds in Iceland. This is often an option you can select.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions - living with a health condition does not mean you can't travel but you will need to find a policy that will work with your needs. We have many providers who can help with travel insurance for those with a pre-existing medical condition.
It is very important to read the terms and conditions carefully before buying any insurance policy. Here are just a few extra considerations with travel insurance
Medical Cover in Europe - many budget policies will expect you to have a GHIC card (which replaces the EHIC). If you don't have one you may find you have limited medical cover. You can apply for one on the NHS website.
Excess Amount - compare the levels of excess which you will be expected to pay. The excess is the first part of any claim that you will have to pay.
Trip Length Limits - annual policies may have a restriction on the number of days your holiday can last. We can help if you need long-stay travel insurance.
Age Restrictions - check that you and all your party that you want to insure fall within the age boundaries. If you have older children check that they do not need a separate policy.
Definition of Family - family policies are available but each insurance company's definition of what consists of a family can be unique so do check in the terms and conditions.
Cancellation and Curtailment - this normally covers you if you need to cancel or cut short your holiday when a relative is taken ill or passes away. Bear in mind that it is unlikely to cover pre-existing illnesses.
If you are lucky enough to have more than one trip during the year, consider whether you can take out an annual travel insurance policy that will cover all your travels.