We all know it’s a good idea to have travel insurance when going on holiday. But do you know what you’re actually covered for – and what isn’t covered?
Many people don’t. That’s why, with the summer holidays upon us, we spoke to our travel insurance experts to help bust 10 of the most common travel insurance myths. Have a read before you buy your cover…
Myth 1: “It’s fine to buy travel insurance at the last minute”
Although you can buy insurance at the last minute, the best time to get it is as soon as you’ve booked your trip. That’s because travel insurance isn’t only designed to protect you while you’re away, but also to cover you for anything that might stop you from getting there in the first place – from illnesses to cancelled flights.
Myth 2: “I only need to give my medical details once”
Whether you’re buying a single trip policy or renewing or booking a trip under an annual policy, you should always update your insurer with your most recent medical information. This includes any investigations, diagnosis or hospital stays within the last 12 months. If you don’t, you might not be covered if you need to claim. If in doubt, always call your insurer.
Myth 3: “I’m covered if I have to cancel because my relative is unwell”
If the illness is caused by an existing condition you knew about when you booked the trip, your insurance wouldn’t be valid if you wanted to cancel because of it. You must declare all medical conditions beforehand, and check with your insurer in exactly what circumstances you are covered. This is one reason why it pays to take out insurance as soon as you book your trip.
Myth 4: “If I list my fear of flying as medical condition I’m covered if I choose not to fly”
A phobia or anxiety over flying is rarely covered by insurers as a reason for cancelling your holiday. However, there are lots of resources available online to help beat your anxiety, and some airlines even offer courses in overcoming the fear of flying.
Myth 5: "My belongings are always covered for theft from a vehicle”
Thefts from unattended vehicles are only covered if the vehicle is locked and your belongings are placed out of view in a storage compartment or boot. On holiday you’re especially vulnerable when you’re loading or unloading baggage, so always keep your valuables on you.
Myth 6: “I can claim for items I accidentally left in my hotel room”
Policies rarely cover items that you leave in your hotel room after checking out, or baggage left in a luggage storage room. So always do a full check of your room before you leave, remember to check under those beds – and keep your valuables on you when you put luggage in storage.
Myth 7: “I can report stolen items when I get back to the UK”
Don’t put it off. Most insurers would require you to report any loss or stolen items to the police and your insurance company within 24 hours, or as soon as reasonably possible, to be eligible for a claim. You’ll also usually need to get a written police report or – if that’s not possible – written proof of loss from an independent party, such as your hotel.
Myth 8: “My luggage is covered while it’s on the plane”
Luggage in the hold is covered for loss or accidental damage. However, valuables such as phones, money, tablets and jewellery should be carried in your hand baggage and fully accessible to you while you’re travelling. That’s because they won’t be covered if put in the hold.
Myth 9: “I have travel insurance with my bank so I don’t need to worry about it”
If you have travel insurance through your bank account, it’s important to make sure that the cover you’ve got – and the limits you’re insured up to – will be sufficient for your upcoming trip.
Myth 10: “My medical cover is valid regardless of how I get injured”
Injuries resulting from some activities are often excluded from standard, but it might be possible to insure them for an additional cost (for example, you could take out winter sports cover if you’re hitting the slopes). Other activities are only covered under the supervision of a qualified guide and some are never covered, so always check your policy before you go.
Please note: travel insurance policies vary from one provider to another. Always check the terms and conditions of the policy you buy to see what is and isn’t covered.
Heading off on your holidays? Get a quote and get covered in minutes with Aviva travel insurance – rated 5 Star by Defaqto. More about Aviva travel insurance