Travel Insurance Tip No. 3: Two good reasons to buy travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday

By , September 26, 2011 1:55 pm
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Many of people leave buying travel insurance to the last minute, if you’re one of them,  I’m going to give you two very good reasons why you should buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.

1. You or a family member falls ill and you need to cancel your holiday

Here’s the scenario, you research your holiday carefully, you book your holiday, pay for it and then you get on with the rest of your life whilst in the background dreaming about your upcoming trip. 

Then, the week before you go, you have a last minute panic about all the things you need to sort out before you go, such as currency, how you’re getting to the airport, who’s feeding the cat and buying travel insurance. You rush around getting everything sorted out and then jet off on holiday to relax and enjoy your break.

Now, consider a change in this scenario, you book and pay for your holiday, get on with the rest of your life and dream about your forthcoming trip, then two weeks before you are due to go on holiday, your daughter gets chicken pox and is not allowed to travel.  The result is that you have to cancel your family holiday.

If you’d already bought travel insurance, you’d be able to make a claim for the cost of the holiday under the cancellation section of the travel insurance policy.  You wait for your daughter to recover and re-book your holiday for a convenient date.

If you hadn’t already bought travel insurance, you’d be forced to cancel your holiday, you’d be out of pocket and may not be able to afford to book another holiday.
We all know that the most important aspect of travel insurance is to cover you for any unforeseen medical expenses whilst you’re away, but another important part is the cancellation cover that you get on your policy.

Cancellation cover is designed to provide financial protection for you in the event that you need to cancel your holiday due to various reasons such as illness or redundancy. The exact definition of this cover will vary with different travel insurance policies, so should always check the terms and conditions.

The key thing to remember is that when you book and pay for a holiday in advance, you should buy travel insurance immediately to protect that investment and when choosing which travel insurance policy make sure that the amount of cancellation cover included reflects the cost of your holiday.

2. A strike is announced that affects your travel plans

Another reason to buy travel insurance cover as early as possible and something I have touched on before, is to ensure that you are covered for travel delays due to strike action. For example the recent general strikes in Italy and Greece which affected air traffic control and caused cancellation and delays for many travellers.

If you booked your holiday and bought your travel insurance before any strike dates are announced you should be covered for travel delay and abandonment due to strike action.  This will usually take the form of a set benefit per 12 or 24 hours of delay to help cover additional expenses, such as food and drink, plus most travel insurance policies will also give you the option to ‘abandon’ your holiday after a delay of 12 or 24 hours and make a claim for the cost. This will be up to the amount specified in the policy, so make sure you buy cover that reflects the cost of your holiday.

If you buy travel insurance after a strike has been announced you will not be covered by your travel insurance if your holiday is affected. Once a strike has been announced it becomes a known risk, travel insurance is designed to cover unforeseen events.

The only way to ensure you would be covered is to buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your holiday. Look at it as a way of protecting the money you’ve invested in your holiday.

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