A Guide to Travel Insurance Extras

Being insured is essential for travel abroad, giving both peace of mind and cover if something goes wrong. While a worrying number of people (sometimes estimated to be as many as one in four) choose to go without travel insurance, the risk simply isn’t worth it – medical bills and cancellation costs for uninsured travellers can be enormous!

But while most people that holiday insurance is essential, it can get seriously confusing when different kinds of insurance seem to overlap. Does travel insurance cover you if you are driving abroad? What about the European Health Insurance card? Can Home Contents insurance cover your possessions when you travel?  Profiled below are a few of the common questions people have about different kinds of insurance, and how they affect each other.

Does my travel insurance cover me for driving abroad?

If you want to drive your own car abroad or hire a rental, your travel insurance won’t cover you. If you are taking your own car, you’ll have to make sure that your existing car insurance and breakdown cover gives you protection for trips abroad. Many car insurers only offer minimal insurance for foreign driving as a standard part of their policies, but will be able to upgrade your cover for a short time if you pay an additional premium.

If you are renting abroad, you’ll almost certainly have to buy insurance with the rental company before they’ll let you rent a car. Of course, it is worth carefully looking at all the insurance options that are presented to you – it may be tempting to go for the cheapest, but make sure you know exactly what you are getting for your money before you buy.

Does my Home Contents Insurance cover my possessions?

This depends. If you have Home Contents insurance and you have “all risks” included as part of the policy, it may well cover your possessions and valuables when you travel abroad. If this is the case, you will be able to waive the luggage and personal possessions cover on your travel insurance and reduce your premium. Make sure you check the small print carefully, however, and make sure that your Home Contents insurance gives you the level of insurance that you need.

Will my European Health Insurance Card cover my medical bills?

A lot of people believe that if they have a European Health Insurance Card, that they can skip out on buying holiday insurance. The EHIC only offers a discount on basic medical cover – it is no substitute for full medical cover available in travel insurance, and won’t provide all the other benefits that full holiday insurance offers, such as cover for possessions and compensation in the event of delay or cancellation.

With cheap travel insurance now widely available from dozens of online providers, getting insured for a good price is no longer a challenge, unless you are a high risk candidate or your circumstances are unusual. But is essential to know what it does and doesn’t cover you for, and what protection other forms of insurance, such as home contents and car insurance, offer you. This way, you know exactly what kind of travel insurance you need to buy, and you can be guaranteed the best possible deal.