What is Travel Insurance and Why do I Need It?

Travel insurance is a paid policy that is intended to protect the people covered under it from any financial problems that could occur while travelling.  Things that are often included are medical expenses, in the case of accident or injury abroad, loss of equipment or personal belongings, cancelled flights and so on.  The cover you get depends very much on the type of policy you pay for, and not all policies are the same. 

You need it to make sure you don’t end up stranded and faced with an enormous financial payout to get home because your airline went bust, or left finding money to spend on new clothes because you went to the Bahamas but your underwear is in Japan.  Of course, if you happen to be a very wealthy person with plenty of free cash, these little trivialities probably won’t bother you much.  But for most mere mortals, travel insurance is more than advisable.

What types of Travel Insurance Policies are there?

Travel insurance policies are very varied and have different financial limits, policy excesses (the amount you have to pay yourself before the company takes over the rest), lengths of cover and more.  It’s important to read the fine print of any policy you’re offered before you take it out, because if it doesn’t meet your needs, it may in effect be worthless.

These are some of the important aspects of travel insurance that you should be looking out for when choosing your policy:

Where can I buy Travel Insurance?

Travel companies will often offer insurance as part of the holiday you book through them, but bear in mind that should they go bust you won’t be getting a refund on either your holiday or your insurance policy.  A good place to look is online, and by shopping around you can probably find a few really good bargains that will give you great cover for a reasonable price.  Don’t always interpret cheap as good though – make sure that even through you’re paying a little less, you’re not getting less cover in return.

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