Traditionally holiday or travel insurance for UK residents has been looked upon as a “luxury” or an “extra”. However many are now starting to realise that holiday cover for a foreign trip is an essential part of any travel booking. Accidents and illnesses can happen to anyone, anytime. Its bad enough if it happens in the UK with your friends and family around you and free healthcare available on the NHS, but what if it happens abroad? What about airport/airline strikes, breakdown on the way to the airport so you miss your flight? What if a relative becomes seriously ill and you find you cannot travel after booking a non refundable package? Holiday cover is now so cheap that it would be foolish not to be covered. This is especially important for senior travel.
There are many different types of travel insurance available, but the two main types are single and annual trip cover. Single trip insurance basically means you are covered for a specific period of travel i.e. two weeks for a specific holiday, whereas an annual travel cover will cover you for the entire year for any trips you may take. As you would expect, annual cover is more expensive, however if you normally have multiple breaks abroad (lucky you!) then it can work out cheaper for you.
In addition to this ther are different levels of cover available of both annual and single trip policies. For instance many policies will offer cover for winter sports such as skiing or even adventure sports such as climbing, there are also now policies which will cover older travellers such as those 65 and over, even with pre-existing medical conditions. Infact 65,70,75,80 or even 85 years old and over can now be covered simply and cheaply.
The actual coverage will vary from company to company, however a “standard” coverage would likely include: holiday cancellation due to emergency, medical costs due to sickness or injury, lost baggage, theft of personal effects including passport, credit cards etc. Some will cover losses due to natural disasters, however check the small print carefully as the author found to his cost during a trip to Florida a few years ago, hurricanes are not covered on some plans as they are “an act of god”! Other exclusions I noticed after the fact on this particular plan were any losses caused by terrorist activity, so be warned always check the small print.