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May 19, 2014

The risks of travelling without the correct insurance cover

HolidayYou’ve planned the trip of a lifetime.  You got a deal on the flights.  Your hotel has won rave reviews. Your itinerary is packed with activities you’ve been dreaming about for years.  What could possibly go wrong? Just when you think everything is wonderful, boom, you get sick and of course you’d lose your money!

British travellers made 337,000 insurance claims for overseas medical treatment in 2012, according to the Association of British Insurers. The average claim was for £815 but one holidaymaker, who had to be flown home by air ambulance after suffering a heart attack, claimed £86,000.

Travel insurance should cover your basic items but remember to check the policy limits for any high value items. If you are claiming for a theft or crime, you need to have reported it to the local police at the time. If you can’t produce a written police report and crime number, your insurer won’t pay. It is extremely unlikely you will be able to get this once you get home, but your insurer may be sympathetic if you can show you made every effort to report the theft. It may be worth asking hotel reception or a holiday rep for back-up.

If you arranged the elements of the holiday separately you have less protection. But you do have some back-up if you paid with your credit card. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, if you spent between £100 and £30,000, the issuer is equally liable for any losses. But it will only cover the cost of any services you didn’t receive, such as a return flight home. There’s no time limit, but there is no point hanging around. Ask your credit card provider for a Section 75 claim form. If you have any problems take your case to the ombudsman.

So whether you’re going away for a few days or are travelling for most of the year, it’s important to choose the correct  level of cover that suits you and will give you peace of mind whilst on holiday.