Travel insurance may be the last thing on your mind when you’re booking a holiday, but there are many benefits to taking out travel insurance particularly if you are travelling long haul. It can turn out to be the most important thing to have if you’re in a crisis situation.

Medical Care & Transport
If you fall sick on your trip you will be covered for your medical needs. Most insurance policies will also pay for you to be transported by road or air to a medical establishment such as a hospital. Be aware of any limits such as pre-existing conditions not being covered for example. If you were located somewhere far from a decent hospital and extremely sick, insurance would cover you to be evacuated to somewhere that can provide you with treatment even if this means to another country.

Cancellation or trip curtailment
This element covers the cost of you having to change the length of your trip to come home because of some unforeseen event such as a death in the family or a fire or burglary at home.

Personal Liability
This gives you cover if you damage someone’s property or hurt them in some way.

Personal Accident
If you are hurt or die during your holiday you would be entitled to some money to compensate you or your loved ones.

Legal Expenses
If you have any expenses of a legal nature due to a personal accident or personal liability, for example, this covers at least an element of these.

Personal Possessions, Luggage, Money and Passports
This covers your bags and belongings while you are away including for things such as cameras, laptops and jewellery. There are usually limits on what is covered, but it does mean you’ll receive some compensation for items that are lost or stolen, and if your passport is amongst these that you will receive a replacement in a timely manner.

All policies vary in terms of the exact elements and levels of cover they offer, so it’s important to make sure you read all the fine print and make certain that the insurance policy you are taking out covers anything you want it to. For example many standard policies won’t cover injury during an extreme sporting activity, so if you’re planning on white water rafting you’ll need to make sure you get a policy that will cover this.

There are two main types of travel insurance policy that you can take out. Single Trip insurance, and Annual insurance. With a single trip insurance policy you are covered just for the one trip the details of which are specified in the documentation. An annual travel insurance policy will usually cover you for multiple journeys during a fixed period of time, but can be limited to just a specific area of the world for example within Europe but not covering trips outside Europe, or may cover you for all journeys but in a limited way. It is important to make sure that you pick a policy that will insure you in the best possible way.

Annual policies are usually more expensive than single trip policies but are worth investigating if you are planning more than two trips during any 12 month period.

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