Why is Travel Insurance Important?
Planning your trip can be one of the most exciting parts leading up to setting off on your adventures. However, there are things that no one really wants to deal with when preparing for a trip, but they are still crucial. For example, travel insurance. But why is travel insurance important?
Our guide to travel insurance is a handy tool bookmark for your planning. Only with the right insurance cover you can travel without worries – and be prepared for any eventuality.
Part of preparing for your trip should be choosing the right insurance policies, so you can enjoy your adventures. But don’t worry: in this article, we will first help you understand why travel insurance is so important.
What is travel insurance?
Most people invest in travel insurance so that they can enjoy their trips with complete peace of mind as they protect a wide range of worries.
Thankfully, providers have handy packages which cover a variety of risks. Most people buy trip insurance which includes cancellations, medical emergencies, evacuations, delays, and lost or damaged belongings including luggage. If you are planning to do a specific, risky activity abroad (think skiing or adventure sports), you might want to consider an insurance plan for accidents or your equipment.
How much does it cost and where can I buy it?
The duration and cost of your insurance depend on a few factors like costs, the length of the trip, your age, and any pre-existing medical conditions. Generally, most single-trip policies last door-to-door, as in the entire length of our trip. A lot of plans are designed with a two-week holiday in the sun in mind, but there are flexible options for you to choose the exact countries and dates as well. You can also buy travel insurance for a whole year. This kind of deal is perfect if you travel a lot or are planning a longer trip.
We would always recommend taking a peek at price comparison sites before you commit to a policy, especially if the whole situation has got you feeling confused.com (get it?!)! Hit up everyone’s favourite meerkat Aleksandr Orlov over on comparethemarket.com or turn to classical opera singer Gio Compario at Go Compare.
Covid Travel Insurance
Thankfully, we can say with some confidence that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. However, restrictions and advice are still constantly changing and do vary from country to county. This means Covid-specific travel insurance is still very much a priority. Mostly, providers offer some level of Covid protection in all packages, but this can be pretty minimal. Lots of popular providers, like the Post Office, offer specific Covid-19 upgrades as add-ons to your coverage. Examples of what could be included are missed departures or curtailments if someone you’re travelling or staying with tests positive, returning home to avoid quarantining abroad, costs towards unexpected Covid-19 tests, contributions towards mandatory quarantine accommodation costs or help after changes to government advice.
Be sure to read the small print extra thoroughly, as different companies have different rules about when you are covered – they can be pretty strict and specific! Rules often depend on the specifics of where, when, what, who, and why. For all insurance claims, and particularly for Covid-related situations, it is super important that you keep all communications, certificates, receipts, booking confirmations and test results. Successful claims can often require a lot of documentation due to all the red tape surrounding payouts.
What About Brexit?
Do I need travel insurance for entering the EU?
As with other destinations, no travel insurance is 100% compulsory for a trip to the European Union, though you should definitely look for an option including medical care (more on that in a bit!). Accidents, lost luggage, cancelled flights, and stolen belongings can happen in even the safest of countries.
If your trip involves driving, you can rest assured that all hire cars in Europe also come with basic coverage, though you might want to add an extra insurance option. Unfortunately, drivers under 25 often have to pay more for these products. The good news is, however, that the Brexit trade deal means that, if you have a photocard driving licence, no green card or international driving permit (IDP) is needed to drive in the entire EU and European Economic Area (EEA).
Is my UK-issued EHIC still valid if I fall ill on an EU holiday?
Despite all the bother with Brexit, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is still valid until the expiry date shown on the card. Once it does run out, you’ll need to get a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to replace it. The NHS application process for this is simple and straightforward.
If you are a UK student who has been living and studying abroad since before 1 January 2021, you are still eligible for a UK-issued EHIC. Nationals from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland who have been living in the UK since before that date can also still depend on their new or existing EHIC.
Keep in mind that the GHIC does not replace other travel insurance. There are also some exceptions, like travelling in Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein. You can find all the necessary info over on the government website.
Travel insurance doesn’t have to be an intimidating part of holiday planning. Basic coverage should include cancellations, medical emergencies, evacuations, delays, and lost or damaged belongings including luggage.
Travel insurance should give you peace of mind to enjoy your trip and have fun. Stay safe out there!