Everyone knows that feeling: in the split second before something goes horribly wrong, you feel a sudden flash of regret. As your car skids across ice towards a brick wall and you suddenly wish you had taken out comprehensive motor insurance; as you wake up to find you have been burgled you reflect that adding your jewellery collection to your contents policy would have been a good idea.
The same applies to travel insurance; it’s easy to tick away at the policy questionnaire without bothering too much about the small print or finer details. If something goes wrong during your trip, this could come back to bite you…
Let’s consider two examples of people going about travel insurance in completely the wrong way.
Wendy gets wheezy in Wellington
After forking out a small fortune for tickets to visit her sister in Wellington, New Zealand, Wendy starts searching for travel insurance. She has bad asthma but decides not to declare this on the form as it would make the policy more expensive.
Wendy’s sister has planned an exciting experience for them – mountain climbing. Halfway up, the altitude brings on an asthma attack and Wendy realises she forgot to bring any inhalers away with her. A trip to the hospital is the result.
Wendy’s travel insurer could refuse cover for multiple reasons. She did not declare her medical condition, forgot to bring her medication on the trip and carried out an extreme sport (mountain climbing) which was specifically excluded under her policy. A large medical bill for her hospital stay is waiting on the doormat when she returns home.
Mark gets messy in Magaluf
To celebrate his A-levels, Mark and his mates go to a beach resort in Magaluf. For the first few days they just chill by the pool and enjoy a few beers, but on the third day they come back from clubbing at 4am, very drunk. Someone offers Mark a few ecstasy pills and he takes them.
Half an hour later, Mark’s friend dares him to jump from his apartment balcony to the neighbouring one. Unfortunately, Mark slips and falls to the ground below, breaking his arm. The inebriated friends all rush with Mark to the nearest health clinic, leaving their apartments unlocked in the hurry. While they are out, someone steals all their stuff.
Mark has given his insurer several grounds for voiding his insurance. In the terms and conditions of most policies, it will say that cover may be refused if the insured is injured through reckless behaviour, criminality (such as drug taking) or failing to take reasonable care of possessions (by leaving an apartment unlocked.) Mark is unlikely to receive anything from his insurer to cover his losses.
You can avoid facing a scenario like our examples above by doing the following things…
1. Declare any existing medical conditions
2. Take your medication with you
3. Avoid unnecessary risk or breaking the law
4. Check which activities are included in your policy
5. Take reasonable care of your belongings
6. Make sure you have a valid visa and passport
7. Follow official advice on which areas to avoid
Talk to Computerquote about your travel insurance needs today
We can help provide a policy that suits your personal circumstances. It may be better value to take out annual insurance instead of multiple single-trip policies. It’s also a good idea to have insurance in place at the time of booking, so you will be protected against cancellation immediately.