The annual fortnight in the sun is part of family life. Paying for a holiday is often one of your biggest financial commitments each year, and after a year in lockdown and travel bans, many of us feel we deserve a treat.
A family fortnight can cost £5,000 or more in some upmarket destinations. Protecting that investment in fun is simply good sense.
At Continuum, we are looking at travel insurance.
The travel insurance. You can’t afford not to have it
Travel insurance is a condition of most package deals – but if you are booking your own trip, it might be tempting to avoid buying cover. It is a temptation you should definitely avoid, because the cost if something goes wrong could be ruinous.
You need to be covered for Loss of Personal Belongings, from baggage to items like cameras, for trip cancellation – airlines can and do go bust – and medical emergencies. Being hospitalised abroad could be frighteningly expensive, with hospital bills in the US being close to $10,000 for a 24 hour stay in intensive care. Illness or injury could even mean that an air ambulance might need to be chartered.
Of course, the pandemic has added an extra layer of complication. Covid has meant extra risks for insurers, and if you have an annual policy that you set up before the epidemic, you might find that they will not cover Covid related risks.
Looking at your travel insurance again is vital.
You can now get travel insurance that offers some cover for risks associated with coronavirus, such as having to change travel plans or facing additional medical bills for treatment while away. It might also provide cover if you booked a trip and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 and could no longer go.
Check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest travel advice. If you’ve already bought insurance and the FCDO then changes its advice for your destination, you’ll need to check with your insurer and possibly make a claim if you have to cancel.
It’s unlikely that even COVID-19-enhanced policies will cover the costs of a stay in a government-mandated hotel if you have to quarantine on returning to the UK. But if you decided not to travel because of the risk of self-isolation rules coming into effect, it may be regarded as “disinclination to travel”. Make sure you understand what is and what isn’t covered before you buy cover.
When do you need it?
If you book a holiday you might think you can leave insurance until you are ready to start packing. This is an expensive mistake, especially if there are last minute rules changes from the FCDO. Having cover in place could take care of cancellation or illness that prevented you making your trip.
Help with all your insurance needs
Travel insurance cover can be part of a complete financial protection package to help give you and your family all-round protection. Call us for the tailored protection you need.
Cutting the costs
An annual policy for travel around Europe, with Covid cover might cost a 40 year old with a small family around £50-60 – but you will need to shop around. Older travellers are considered higher risk, and if you are over 65, the costs could be much higher. If you buy family or other types of group cover, the price is based on the oldest traveller – so individual cover may cost less overall.
A broker or online service could cost a lot less than buying from a travel agent.
For help with any of your insurance questions, not just travel, please call the Continuum team. And have a great holiday.
The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation for investment strategy, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.