Since 2009 the UK government has regulated the sale of travel insurance and small tour operators like us are no longer allowed to either sell or recommend insurance to our clients unless we agree to be tied to a specific insurer.
Since good cover is so important here are a few key questions to ask potential insurers:
- It is very important to be well covered, in particular against cancellation and medical expenses, with a reputable insurance company who offers a repatriation service.
- Make sure that you have cancellation and curtailment cover sufficient to cover the whole cost of the trip.
- Check that a change in Foreign Office (FCDO) travel advice is a valid trigger for cancellation and curtailment cover.
- Items of a high individual value (such as photographic equipment) are normally best insured as part of the Worldwide All Risks section of your Household policy.
- Age limits can vary between policies so if you are over 65 it is worth shopping around.
- If you normally travel abroad more than twice a year then an Annual policy will almost certainly offer better value, quite apart from the convenience.
- Pay particular attention to any pre-existing medical conditions clauses: and remember that you should advise insurers if any person upon whom travel depends (such as a close relative) has a condition that might give rise to a cancellation. If in doubt ask before taking out the insurance.
- If you are hiring a car it may be useful to get a policy that includes car hire excess waiver top-up - in some countries (e.g. Argentina, Chile) this is quite high and not possible to reduce via the car hire companies. Separate policies are available just for this, but do check that yours covers the type of vehicle you are hiring (some have exclusions for pick-up trucks for example).
- Insurers who are members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI, www.abi.org.uk) guarantee minimum levels of Covid-19 cover, e.g. the cost of treatment overseas including quarantine requirements of destination countries.