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Travel Insurance and Claims in the UK

Whether it is a solo trip, winter holiday or for some Caribbean sun, preparing for a break is an exciting and hectic time. However, taking care of the details like travel insurance, is an essential part of the planning process. It not only gives travellers peace of mind, but provides a safety net if something does go wrong while they are abroad.


Standard policies will be suitable for the majority of travellers, however, if the cover is for a person over 50, a break over 30 days, or an extreme sport holiday for example, it is sensible to use a company that specialises in these areas. Whatever the policy requirements are, getting the best quote is a matter of shopping around. Comparison websites allow customers to browse through many offers, without having to answer the same questions repeatedly, and can therefore save time as well as money. However, some banks provide travel insurance cover as part of a current account bundle, so check this is not in place before buying a policy.


It is sensible to verify the level of cover offered in each section, expensive gadgets or accessories may not be covered in full - unless there is a stipulation in the policy. So before parting with any money, go over the details - like excess and limits - to ensure they are acceptable.


Although far more comprehensive health cover is included in most policies, the EHIC or European Health Insurance Card is a helpful addition to the documents of European travellers. It is free and ensures tourists are treated in all EU hospitals, in the same way as locals. If healthcare is free for them, it will be for EHIC holders.


When the insurance documents are dispatched, they should be taken on holiday, so they are readily available. If a claim is made, it will save a huge amount of time - and stress - if the relevant policy numbers are on hand. The contact numbers will be included in this paperwork and most will be 24 hours. Companies encourage and expect customers to use this service, should an incident occur out of office hours. Most insurance companies grant customers up to a month to claim in retrospect, however, prompt action is beneficial for all concerned. The sooner a problem is reported, the sooner the insurer can begin the investigation and compensation process.


In the event of a claim, remember to record any relevant information, witness statements – including their contact details - and clear photographic evidence, will all speed up the procedure. It is vital to involve the police if a crime has taken place, the reference number and report they make, will undoubtedly be requested by an insurer. When making a claim, just as when buying a policy, honesty is crucial. If an insurance company discovers during their investigation that a claimant has been less than truthful, the entire claim could be invalidated. Furthermore, trying to mislead an insurer is an offence, so stick to facts and avoid elaboration.

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