Do you need travel insurance?

Money Advice Service

Travel insurance (or holiday insurance) is important if you want to make sure you’ll be able to afford medical care when you’re abroad.

Why take out travel insurance?

The average cost for overseas medical treatment is £1,300, but can be much higher. Source: ABI (2017)

For example, in one case treating multiple fractures and an artery tear in the USA, a British citizen was forced to take an air ambulance back to the UK.

The cost of the treatment and transport was close to £500,000.

  • Getting medical care on holiday could cost you thousands of pounds.
  • Travel insurance that covers getting you home and medical expenses is essential.
  • Other insurance – like credit card accident cover and private health insurance – doesn’t cover most travel emergencies.
  • Without insurance, you might have to cover emergency expenses on your own – the British Consulate is unlikely to help you.

What does travel insurance cover?

One in three claims on travel insurance is for medical treatment.

Source: Money Advice Service

Most policies include cover for:

  • lost or stolen bags*
  • emergency medical expenses
  • the costs of cancelling, delaying or cutting your trip short*
  • personal liability, in case you’re sued for damaging property or causing injury.

*Baggage and cancellation cover might be additional extras within some policies.

What isn’t covered by travel insurance?

There are some common things you should watch out for:

  • If you’re over 65 or have a medical condition, you might need specialist insurance. If you have a medical condition you have to tell your insurer if asked or risk invalidating your insurance policy. When you buy insurance you must answer all questions about your circumstances and health honestly. You have to include everything, even if you think it’s not important, for example taking regular tablets for high blood pressure or angina. If you don’t your policy won’t be valid.
  • Adventure sports, winter sports and any ‘dangerous activities’ are often not covered as part of a standard travel insurance policy and you might need extra cover.
  • With most policies, you aren’t covered for travel to countries or regions that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommends avoiding – view the latest list on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website
  • Coverage for strikes, civil unrest, earthquakes, acts of terrorism and epidemics such as SARS varies.

Because travel insurance policies vary, we’ve prepared some guides to help you find the specific information – and cover – you need.

Do you still need travel insurance if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

  • With an EHIC (formerly E111) you get the same level of state-provided medical care as someone who lives in the country you’re visiting. It’s valid in all European Economic Area countries and Switzerland.
  • The downside is that the local level of care might not be the same as what you’d get in the UK. You’ll also need to pay for part of your bills, if that’s how the local system works.
  • EHIC won’t cover the costs of repatriation – getting you back home – after a medical emergency on holiday could be very costly.
  • If you use an EHIC to get medical care, some insurers won’t ask you to pay the excess on your medical claims.
  • While it’s worth getting an EHIC, it’s not enough on its own. You should still get travel insurance that includes medical and repatriation cover.

Can travel insurance represent good value?

Britons spend more than double the cost of an average single trip travel insurance policy on magazines and sweets at the airport.

Source: Association of British Insurers

The main benefit of travel insurance is in having emergency medical cover on holiday.

  • What happens if you have a bad fall on the ski slopes and need a helicopter to a good hospital?
  • How would you cope if one of the kids fell ill – even with something minor – in the US or another country with sky-high medical costs?

With those costs covered, you’ll quickly realise the value of having a holiday insurance policy.

The cover you get for personal possessions can be covered under your home contents insurance policy.

It’s best to check whether you have this already before you add it to your travel policy.

Some travel insurers will give you a discount if you exclude baggage cover.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

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Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

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