When you are thinking about travel insurance, you might be wondering do I really need it? Is it really worth purchasing travel insurance, especially when I may not need to claim on it? Yes, you do need travel insurance!  

I have worked in the insurance industry for many years. And unlike car insurance, travel insurance in the UK is not a legal requirement. But, why do I need insurance?  

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Why do I need travel insurance? 

Travel insurance will cover you for most eventualities, such as cancellation of you holiday, (providing there’s a valid reason the holiday is cancelled). If you miss your flight, if your baggage is lost or stolen and importantly, if you have an accident or become unwell while travelling. Most, if not all medical costs will be covered.  

When you purchase travel insurance always make sure you read and are familiar with the terms and conditions. 

Depending on where you purchase your insurance from, you may be required to pay a premium, which is a small price to pay if something was to happen while you were away.  

Where to get insurance 

Many banks can offer some form of travel insurance, if you have a certain account with them. We bank with Lloyds and HSBC, and both banks will offer us travel insurance, plus other extras, when selecting a certain account with them.  

The advantage with obtaining travel insurance via this method, is that you don’t need to pay a premium to the insurance company for the full cover. Plus you get some additional benefits, such as AA cover etc., The negative will be paying the bank a fee for having the account.  

If we look at LLoyds as an example, by having a Platinum or Club Lloyds Platinum account, the benefits are AXA World Wide Travel Insurance, AA Breakdown Cover, Mobile Phone Insurance and more. But the account costs £21.00 per month. 

You could also purchase travel insurance from AXA Insurance, or other travel insurance companies. Going direct will offer you the same terms and conditions as you would if obtaining it from your bank. But you will be paying the premium directly to the company. This premium for the insurance could be greater or less than obtaining it from the bank. It is therefore important to do your research to establish which options will be financially beneficial to you.  

How does Travel Insurance work? 

Most insurance companies will offer a one-year cover, but with a maximum of 30-day multiple trips within that one-year period. So, as an example, if we went away on holiday for 31 days, then we’d be in breach of your terms and conditions and wouldn’t be covered. But if we were to go on holiday for 25 days, return home for a couple of days, before heading out on holiday again for 25 days, then you will be covered. 

There’re a few travel insurance companies that offer travel that exceeds 30 days, such as full-time travelers.  

As mentioned above, travel insurance is there to protect you should you incur a financial loss as a result of a cancellation of your holiday, lost or stolen luggage, in the event that you have an accident or fall sick, etc.,  

When you need to claim, you would contact the claims team and explain the problem you have encountered. The agent will set up a claim and go through the process with you. They are likely to require evidence in the form of receipts and invoices to support your loss. Providing the claim is covered and there’re no discrepancies, the insurance company will pay out for any financial loss you’ve incurred. 

Please note, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, you will need to disclose this to the insurance company when you take out the policy. The insurance company will confirm if the condition is covered and if you need to pay an additional premium as a result. Unfortunately, if you have a pre-existing condition, then this puts a further risk to the insurance company, which is why you are likely to pay an additional premium for it. 

Pros and Cons 

There’re pros and cons with anything, so purchasing travel insurance is no different. We go through some of these pros and cons, to help you better understand if you really need insurance or not. 

Pros 

  • If you need to make a claim against your insurance policy, providing it falls within the terms and conditions, then the insurance company will pay out for your financial loss minus your excess amount. 
  • Most banks provide travel insurance, plus extras, providing you have a certain account with them. 
  • Peace of mind, knowing that no matter what eventuality, you are going to be covered. 
  • Medical treatment can be provided while overseas, should you fall sick or injured. If you have returned home and you have incurred the financial loss due to an injury or illness, contact the insurance company and they will look to settle out on that loss, providing you have all receipt and invoices to support the loss. 

Cons 

  • There may be exclusions that you may not be covered for. Always check the terms and conditions to ensure you are covered. 
  • If you have a pre-existing medical condition which prevents the insurance company from insuring you, or you have to pay an increased premium 
  • How often are you going to need to claim, if you don’t claim, you’ll pay a premium anyway. 
  • If you have the travel insurance through the bank, is it worth paying for the additional bank fee for the travel insurance to be included. 

Should I get insurance? 

We have had travel insurance from our bank and been paying the bank for many years. But only once have we needed to claim. Our phone was damages while overseas, which is the only time we have claimed. We contacted the insurance company on our return, and provided them with receipts and images of the phone. Within a couple of weeks, the insurance company paid for a new phone.  

So, is it really worth getting travel insurance? Do you really need travel insurance? And should you get travel insurance? 100% yes! 

If we don’t have insurance, and we fall ill on holiday, or we damage or lose our personal belongings, we simply won’t get that money reimbursed. In some countries, medical treatment can be so expensive and it would be an additional financial burden that we simply would not be able to pay for. 

By paying a small premium a month, or a year, to know we are protected in the event we need to claim, just puts our mind at rest.  

If you haven’t got travel insurance, get it now! 

Have you got insurance? Which company are you with? Are they a good company and would you recommend them? Do you maybe have a horror story of using an insurance company and wouldn’t use them again? Tell us about it, we would love to hear from you! 

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