What you need to know about travel insurance

It's not the best type of holiday shopping, but buying travel insurance is crucial if you want to protect yourself should the worst happen while you're away. Read on to find out everything you need to know about travel insurance.

Do I need travel insurance?

In a word, YES! In the past year alone, millions of people have had to fork out for medical care because they had the wrong travel insurance to cover their needs, or none at all. In fact, one in four people has the wrong insurance or doesn't even bother getting any - are you that one?

If so, read on to discover why spending the money (begrudgingly) can seriously pay off.

How many people get the wrong (or no) travel insurance?

Over the past 12 months, 38% of people didn't have the right travel insurance to cover themselves in the event of accidents, illness, loss of baggage or other unfortunate circumstances. 

Even worse, 22% didn't have any kind of travel insurance when they set off on their trip.

A naughty 27% of those surveyed did purchase travel insurance, yet failed to declare an existing medical condition or took part in activities that weren't covered by their insurance.

A whopping 82% of people surveyed didn't even realise the emergency number to call in Europe is 112. 

Why do people fail to get the right travel insurance?

Most people who don't get the right (or any) travel insurance before embarking on a holiday or business trip simply do not think they need it. They think it's worth the risk to save a few quid because they're so sure nothing will happen to them that will cause them to require any kind of insurance while they're away.

Well, if you're one of these chancers, we've got some news for you!

The Association of British Insurers (ABI for short) has reported that travel insurance companies paid out £370 million in claims last year alone. That figure worked out at 591,000 individual claims. Which goes to show, travel insurance is definitely a necessary pre-holiday purchase!

Still unsure whether you need travel insurance?

Many people assume they're covered by their bank or home insurance, so they opt not to buy travel insurance before heading out on a trip. And while this may be correct in some situations, it's always best to check with your insurer and disclose the full details of your trip, where you're going and what it may entail.

Do I really need to declare all medical conditions in my travel insurance?

Although it's tempting to fail to mention that medical condition that will increase your travel insurance quote, it's really not a smart move in the long run. It may save you a few quid, but is it worth the risk?

Failing to declare an existing medical condition to your travel insurance company could cost you thousands of pounds in medical bills abroad, so do you really think that's a way to save money? It's a no from us.

What is actually covered in your travel insurance?

If you do make the right decision and go to purchase travel insurance - that's great. However, don't leave it until the last minute and panic buy without reading the policy fully and checking it covers you for every eventuality.

So many people don't realise their travel insurance doesn't cover them for flights or lost luggage, for example. If the worst does happen on your trip, you really do need to know you'll be compensated or covered in every situation you could face.

Therefore, it may be dull, but READ THE SMALL PRINT!

Do I still need travel insurance if I'm going on holiday in the UK?

Opting for a staycation over a foreign holiday this year? Don't make the mistake of assuming you won't need travel insurance for a holiday in the UK. 

In fact, most of us take an average of £676 of valuables along with us when we go on holiday - so what would you do if something was lost, stolen or broken?

And if you think it's unlikely, think again. 8% of British people on holiday in the UK have had expensive items stolen, misplaced or damaged. While that number may seem small, we're sure the cost to fix or replace items without insurance for those people affected didn't!

Without the right travel insurance, you could well be out of pocket if your home insurance doesn't cover you when you're away.

Investing in UK travel insurance can protect you in all kinds of situations, including cancellations, sickness and even bereavement, so it's definitely something you should take the time to buy before you go.

What do I need to do look out for when booking travel insurance?

Here are a few steps you can take to make sure you are fully covered for every eventuality.

  1. Inform your insurance company of any existing medical conditions
  2. Check if travel insurance offered by your bank covers you for your chosen trip and all it entails
  3. Check you're covered for your chosen destination - some countries are not included in European cover, even though they're in the EU
  4. Make sure any activities or sports you plan to do on holiday are covered in your policy - even a leisurely bike ride could put you at risk 
  5. Look at all the limits for valuable items - is everything covered within the limits stated? Make sure your phone, laptop and camera are included, as they're often not

How do I find the best travel insurance company?

There's plenty of choice out there and we all have different budgets, needs and medical histories, so there isn't one company or policy to fit all.

Do your homework and find the right policy for you and your needs, and make sure you have read the small print! It may take time, but it's easier than ever to search and compare travel insurance quotes now with so many comparison sites to help you along the way. You won't regret spending this time should the worst happen. 

Top tip: using comparison sites can be really helpful, but always check if you can get a better price by going direct to the travel insurer!

How to find the best value airport parking

Once you're insured for your holiday, make sure you choose the right airport parking provider for you. We are a Gatwick Airport Approved Operator and our car parks hold the coveted Park Mark award for safe parking. Book here.