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The Lodown on Travel Insurance

There is no getting away from it – whenever you head abroad, you really should be buying travel insurance.

Even if you are not bothered about cover for lost luggage or flight cancellations, taking out insurance to cover you in the case of a medical emergency abroad is an absolute priority. With the average cost of medical treatment overseas reaching £1,300, falling ill on holiday without insurance can prove disastrous.

And that figure of £1,300 is just a fraction of what it can cost in serious cases.

Even if you have private medical insurance, it won’t cover you while you are abroad. The whole purpose of travel insurance is to cover any costs you might incur while you are away, and get you home if the worst comes to the worst.

So although the majority of travellers never have to claim on their travel insurance, it really is a sensible precaution to take just in case the worst does happen.

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to buying travel insurance. To help you make the right decision.

Do you travel regularly?

Most travel insurance policies are sold for the duration of a single trip. However, if you are a regular traveller, it might be better value, not to mention more convenient, to purchase an annual multi-trip policy.

Annual multi-trip travel insurance will cover you for an unlimited number of trips within a 12-month period. This will usually prove cheaper than buying separate policies for each trip, and you get better value the more regularly you travel. If you plan to travel for an extended period, check the small print on an annual policy, as there may be a maximum cover limit for each individual trip.

Do you have any medical needs?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it is very important that you discuss this with your travel insurance provider before you travel. Most policies are designed to give a basic level of medical cover for standard treatments and emergency protection, for example if you need to be airlifted to hospital after an accident or flown home early due to illness.

What standard travel policies are not designed to cover is specialist treatments for specific conditions. These will usually cost a lot more than basic medical attention, so the treatment indemnity in a generic policy will probably not cover treatments for, say, diabetes or a heart condition. And more importantly, if you don’t declare these conditions, it could invalidate your insurance completely.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, look for a specialist provider that will offer bespoke cover for your medical needs.

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