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The Small Price of Protecting Your Holiday

With all the disruption at UK airports that has taken place in recent weeks1, with cancelled flights and ruined holidays and the main holiday period still ahead of us, it seems to be the right time to talk about the importance of travel insurance.

Do you take the risk of hoping that everything will go well or, like the scenario above, recognise that unforeseen events can ruin your break before you even take off, requiring appropriate action to cover yourself and your family?

According to the Consumer Council2, a good insurance policy should cover you for:

• Missed flight departures / connections

• Cancellation or restriction of your holiday caused by an unexpected event, e.g. illness

• Illness, injury or death while you are away

• Repatriation – getting you back home

• Loss, theft or damage to your belongings or luggage

• Liability for accidents to others

• If the airline goes out of business

• Natural disasters, natural events e.g. volcanic ash clouds and severe weather

• Political instability

• Security risks.

Of course, you can pick and choose what features are important to you as not every policy will be as comprehensive and it is just as important that you know what your policy does not cover as what it does.

Common exclusions2


• Travel disruption caused by natural disaster, volcanic ash, civil unrest or
terrorism may not be included

• Claims for a pre-existing medical condition or illness at the time of taking
out your policy that has not been declared

• Alcohol and drug related incidents

• Missing valuables from check-in luggage


Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) and travel insurance2


If you are travelling to Europe, since Brexit, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is no longer valid, although it will still be valid in the EU until it expires. We recommend that you apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), free of charge, in addition to taking out travel insurance. The GHIC allows travellers to access healthcare in most European countries at a reduced cost or sometimes free of charge.

However, it is not an alternative to travel insurance, and it does not cover:


• getting you back to the UK (repatriation)

• private medical treatment

• dental treatment in some countries


How do I get a GHIC?


You can apply online at https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/ It is advisable to allow at least two weeks before travelling to make sure the card arrives on time.3

Sources


1 – BBC News (2022) Will my summer holiday flights be cancelled? Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/61660238 (Accessed 28th June 2022).

2 – Consumer Council (2022) Travel Insurance Fact Sheet. Available at: https://www.consumercouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/2022-04/Travel_Insurance_Factsheet_04_22.pdf (Accessed 28th June 2022).

3 – NHS (2022) Applying for healthcare cover abroad (GHIC or EHIC). Available at https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/ (Accessed 28th June 2022)

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