Planning a holiday? Don’t travel without cover

Make sure you have travel insurance before you go on holiday

Published: February 17, 2022 at 10:54 am

The easing of travel restrictions has prompted many people to plan holidays, but if you are hoping to take a break make sure you take out travel insurance at the same time as you book.

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Although most holiday companies will offer you their own travel insurance at the same time you buy your holiday, it’s well worth checking to see if you can find cheaper cover elsewhere. It’s also vital to read the small print of any policy you’re considering buying carefully, so you don’t end up facing any nasty surprises if you need to make a claim.

If you’re worried about travel rules changing again, you should be able to find cover which will protect you if you’re unable to travel due to changes to travel advice, or if the UK goes into lockdown again. Most policies will pay out if you can’t travel because you’ve tested positive for coronavirus, or if you get covid while you’re away and have to self-isolate and stay longer than you’d planned.

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Ban Mahsoub, head of money services at Tesco Bank, which provides Covid cover as standard on its travel policies, said: “Making sure you have travel insurance in place from the moment you book will help protect you financially against any cancellations or delays, plus any mishaps while you are away. Make sure your travel insurance covers your whole trip, including the days you are travelling to and from your destination. Choosing a policy that has Covid cancellation cover offers an additional layer of protection should you find yourself unable to travel.”

If you’re planning to hit the slopes in the next few months, it’s vital to check that your policy includes winter sports cover.

Jon Marsh, managing director of partnerships for Aviva, said: “The overwhelming majority of winter sports travel insurance claims relate to injuries sustained while on holiday. These can range from relatively minor sprains and bruises, to claims involving hospital stays and even repatriation by air ambulance, so it’s incredibly important that people have the right cover when taking a winter sports holiday.

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“We’d also urge travellers to read through their cover and check any requirements for their resorts before they travel, so they can make their preparations and have full peace of mind during their well-deserved breaks.”

For example, your resort may have additional requirements beyond entry to the country. Visitors to Italy are required to have third-party liability insurance on the slopes, which is covered under some winter sports travel insurance policies, and you’ll need to wear a mask and maintain social distancing in some places.

If you’re travelling to Europe, it’s worth taking a Global Health Insurance Card with you too. The card entitles you to state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or for free, although it is not valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.

The GHIC should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. These cards won’t provide you with any financial protection if for example, or if any personal possessions are lost or stolen when you’re away, or your trip has to be cut short because you’re unwell. They also don’t cover repatriation, which travel insurance does. You can apply for a GHIC at www.nhs.uk.

Get a free quote and compare travel insurance today

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