Did you know that bills for a heart attack in Spain could cost you around £35,000 if not covered by your travel insurance? Or two days in intensive care in the USA can cost £5,000?
Various studies over the years have revealed a growing trend of millions of UK holidaymakers not taking out insurance when they travel abroad. But even more worrying is that many travel abroad thinking they’re safely covered with the travel insurance they get free with their credit card, only to find it’s not the case.
Independent brokerage Be Wiser Insurance is urging everyone going overseas this summer to make sure they read the terms and conditions of their travel insurance policies to ensure that they don't end up out of pocket should the worst occur.
Depending on the card you’re using, the free travel insurance will have different types of policies, conditions, exclusions, amounts of cover and premium. Usually, the coverage is very basic or limited.
Often travellers are only actually being given travel accident insurance. This is a policy that will give you insurance in an emergency or unforeseen event like accidents, including while traveling to and from your destination. It will not, however, give you other travel benefits or additional cover while on holiday.
Additionally, and in most cases, you need to use your credit card to purchase the trip otherwise the free travel insurance doesn’t apply. It can only be valid if the traveler has booked the travel and accommodation with the credit card itself.
“Travel insurance is your boarding pass to safety that will keep you and others covered safe throughout your trip,” said chief executive of Be Wiser Insurance, Mark Bower-Dyke.
“Not having a comprehensive travel insurance policy can be the difference between a trip of a lifetime you never forget and the trip you want to but can’t forget. Coming home to debt from urgent medical attention needed at an extremely high cost more than likely isn’t the way you envisaged your trip ending.
‘Brits often use travel insurance that comes tagged onto other products, for example credit cards, but the cover offered in this way may be limited. Checking the fine print of your travel insurance documents can mean the difference between thousands of pounds should an emergency occur – look over it carefully to fully understand exactly what’s being covered.”
Be Wiser Insurance has put together some important points to consider when deciding whether or not your free travel insurance through your credit card will suffice:
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- Check if your free travel insurance policy covers you in emergencies or unavoidable circumstances that require you to discontinue your trip, such as flight cancellations due to social unrest, bad weather, illness or a death in the family.
- Having insurance that will cover any of your losses well enough to comfortably allow you to continue your trip will put your mind at ease. When travelling light, the theft or loss of just one piece of luggage can immediately ruin your trip.
- In the unfortunate event that your flight is cancelled or rearranged and it causes you to miss your connections, you may find yourself needing extra cash to cover your cost for the unexpected layover, like spending extra nights in a hotel.
- You will want to have insurance for any treatments or medical expenses, including hospitalisation that completely covers you, should you or any member of your group under your responsibility get sick or have an accident. It would also help to make sure your coverage includes repatriation when going overseas.
- Be aware that some nations will jail a traveler in the event of a small accident until a case is fully investigated. If you are being held in a foreign country for any criminal acts or other legal reasons, the legal and basic personal expenses can pile up rapidly.
- Even if you already have a life insurance policy, when traveling out of the country, it’s still best to make sure this is also offered in your credit card policy. You can pay a small premium for the extra coverage if it isn’t already in the deal. It should give proper insurance for the elderly or medically frail travelers, and should cover the preparation and repatriation of remains, in the event of death.
- Free RAC breakdown cover for all motor clients (cars, vans, motorcycles)
- Free Helmet & Leathers cover for all motorcycle clients
- Free Identity Theft cover for all homeowners
- Be Wiser Insurance is an independent insurance brokerage with three sites in Andover, Hampshire
- Be Wiser Insurance currently has 76,000 plus clients
- Be Wiser Insurance focuses mainly on personal lines insurance – private car, motorcycle, commercial vehicle and household insurance
- Be Wiser Insurance has introduced several key features to all policy holders:
- Be Wiser Insurance commenced trading in July 2007
- Be Wiser Insurance is FSA registered
- Be Wiser Insurance works with over 30 mainly UK ‘household name’ insurance companies
- Be Wiser Insurance is a fast growing success story during a time of economic difficulty
- For additional information on Be Wiser Insurance please visit: ww2.bewiser.co.uk