Tips for choosing travel insurance

Travel insurance is still an underestimated necessity which far too many of the British public take for granted when planning their holidays. All too easily people presume that they won’t be afflicted by accident, illness, theft, delay or any other holiday disasters that could lead to financial ruin. Others will obtain the cheapest policy that is so vague it lacks any real worth.

Obviously most people will have a happy holiday - free from unwanted event - but for a few, travel insurance takes on an inordinate significance. The well prepared will have obtained a policy that will rescue the holder from any situation. In 2009 travel insurance companies paid out £407 million in compensation. You can even check for online travel insurance so easily nowadays.

Many travellers will presume that the cover given by their credit cards or the European Health Insurance Card will be ample but this can be a grave error of judgement. The EHIC entitles any citizen of the European Economic Area to statutory health care provided by the host state. Any private provision will need to be paid for by the recipient which opens up an array of potential costs. It seems obvious that in a time of crisis the recipient and their family will take whichever brand of healthcare is most forthcoming - state or otherwise – so the ultimate cost of this care could be vast.

Repatriation fees or specialist assistance in a country with a less than adequate nationalised health service can be way above the means of most ordinary citizens. An air ambulance from any of Europe’s popular holiday isles can run well above the £10,000 mark.

On a potentially more realistic and practical level: the loss of luggage is commonplace with baggage handling becoming an ever more complicated business; lost and stolen possessions are far more likely to occur when your belongings are in transit; delays and cancellations do happen with evermore holiday providers in the market place; personal liability is ever more likely in a world rife with compensation culture.

Look for a comprehensive travel insurance policy rather than just a cheap fix and adapt it to the type of holiday you may be embarking on.