The Easter holidays are just a couple of weeks away, and if you’re heading overseas it’s vital to protect yourself financially in case your break doesn’t go as planned.


Here, we highlight five things to check when buying travel insurance for your holiday. Remember that it’s always worth shopping around for cover so you can find the right cover to suit your needs, at the right price.

1) Buy cover early

If you’ve already arranged your holiday but haven’t yet bought travel insurance, make sure you do so as soon as possible. Jason Whelan, spokesman for, said: “As people are booking holidays now, please don’t forget to buy your travel insurance at the same time so that you have cancellation cover if you fall ill and can’t go. There are no savings to be made buying it at the last minute.”

2) Remember the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

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If you’re going on holiday in the EU this Easter, it’s worth applying for a GHIC before you go. This will entitle you to medically necessary state-provided healthcare – treatment that can’t wait until you return to the UK – when you’re away, so it’s well worth packing one. It will also cover you in some other non-EU countries such as Australia and Switzerland.

It usually takes around 10 days for the card to arrive once you’ve applied for it, so if you don’t already have one, you may be able to get one in time for Easter. You can apply for the card free of charge at If you have an existing European Health Insurance Card, this will still be valid until the date shown on the card.

3) Check you’re covered for wintersports or other adventurous activities

If you’re heading off skiing this Easter holidays, it’s vital to check that your travel insurance has winter-sports coverage. The same goes for any trip where you’re planning an adventurous activity so, for example, if you’re going on a scuba diving holiday, you must let your insurer know in advance if you want to be certain your policy will protect you.

4) Do you already have cover?

The last thing anyone wants is to find they’ve paid for cover twice, so make sure you don’t already have insurance in place before you buy. A spokesman for Defaqto said: “Check your bank account - if it is one you pay a monthly fee for, travel insurance may be one of the benefits provided. You may also have existing annual travel policies in place, so check that they will cover all aspects of your next trip. For example, if you weren’t originally intending to go skiing when you brought the policy but now you are.”

5) How much is the excess?


The excess is the part of any insurance claim you must pay yourself, so when buying travel cover, it’s essential to check how much this is. If it’s particularly high, this could wipe out much of the benefit of making a claim, so you need to ensure you choose a policy with an affordable excess. If you’re buying travel insurance from a comparison site such as MoneySuperMarket, Go.Compare or Comparethemarket, you can usually set the excess to the level you want.