If you’re travelling abroad with your family then it’s really important to make sure you have decent travel insurance. It doesn’t really cost very much but the cost of not having it could be huge. 48% of people don’t realise that without travel insurance they’re liable to pay for their own medical bills abroad. Such bills can be huge – an air ambulance from the Canary Islands to the UK can cost between £12,000 to £16,000.
I’ve actually been flown back from Italy twice by my holiday insurers and really appreciate the help they gave me. Both times were life-or-death family emergencies which meant we had to fly home immediately. Both times were horrendous but without insurance would have been so much worse. I hope that nothing like this ever happens to you but if it does then I hope that you’re insured.
Family travel insurance
Here are my tips to help you find the best family travel insurance policy:
- Take out travel insurance as soon as you book a trip just in case you have to cancel your plans.
- If you’re a UK resident travelling to Europe make sure everyone in the family has their own European Health Insurance Card, also known as an EHIC. This card entitles you to free or reduced cost public healthcare in Europe. An EHIC is free and you shouldn’t pay anything for it so make sure you apply for this card on the official government website because there are some unofficial EHIC websites which charge a fee. ((N.b. post-Brexit, when your EHIC expires you can apply for a free GHIC Global Health Insurance Card to replace it).
- You still need travel insurance as well as an EHIC because the EHIC scheme doesn’t cover things like repatriation.
- When you’re applying for travel insurance make sure you answer the questions fully and accurately, otherwise your policy may be invalid. Give full details of any medical conditions or medical treatment up front.
- When choosing between European or Worldwide cover be careful to choose the right area – Turkey, for example, isn’t included as a European destination.
- If you’ll be skiing, snowboarding, white water rafting or taking part in any other potentially dangerous activities make sure you mention this to the insurers as you probably won’t be covered for these in a standard policy. You may have to pay an extra charge.
- The cheapest policy may not be the best and may be inadequate. Look at the cover provided by the policy and make sure it’s enough for you. For example, the cancellation cover must meet the cost of your holiday and the insurer should provide 24 hour emergency service and assistance. Work out the value of your possessions and make sure that they’ll be covered by the policy if they’re lost or stolen.
- Multi-trip policies can work really well if you travel more than once a year. These cover you for a whole year for whichever geographical area you choose and can be very cost-effective. They also save you time and hassle as you don’t have to find travel insurance every time you book a trip.
- Make a copy of your insurance and other documents and leave them with a friend or relative at home.
- Take your insurance documents with you on your trip and make sure you know what the emergency contact number is in case you need it.
I think that’s everything! Do you have any tips to add to the list?