Welcome to hotel travel

Travel Insurance. Also Get A European Health Insurance Card.

Travel Insurance. Also Get A European Health Insurance Card.

Hands up all those who remember the old E111 medical forms you were supposed to have if you travelled in Europe? I can see all those blank faces!

Well, great news is that it doesn’t matter any more. The E111 form was replaced at the beginning of January 2006 by a new European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

This EHIC is valid for up to 5 years and entitles you to the same level of medical care in the country you’re travelling in, as would be enjoyed by the residents of that country. The card covers discounted and free medical care including emergency treatment, and applies to all the EEC countries plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. But be aware that the treatment you’re entitled to might not include all the treatments you get free of charge under the National Health Service here in Britain.

Nevertheless, we believe that it’s wise to carry a EHIC as it could save you time, money and a great deal of hassle if you’re unlucky enough to need medical attention. It can cut through some of the inevitable red tape you’d be faced with if you were relying just on the medical provisions of your travel insurance policy.

You should also be aware that in many areas of Europe, the best medical attention is still reserved for those with private insurance cover. Private insurance bypasses the long queues of local residents waiting patently in inhospitable corridors – after all who wants to spend days of their holiday not only ill, but queuing as well!

Another point is that nationalised health care is only available at nationalised hospitals which, in some countries, are hundreds of miles apart. They tend to be located where the local population work and live – not where you enjoy your holidays! Therefore, you may be a long way from the nearest nationalised hospital whereas private medical and dental clinics are to be found in many tourist areas catering primarily for holidaymakers. Their standard is usually good albeit in local terms, they’re expensive.

Whilst we’ve been discussing medical care, don’t forget that private travel insurance covers you for much more than just medical expenses. Most policies will even pay for you to be flown home to the UK if you’re really ill. Holiday cancellation (due to prior illness), holiday curtailment, loss of luggage or individual items are all aspects normally covered by the insurance.

To be as safe as possible, we recommend that all travellers get a European Health Insurance Card and comprehensive travel insurance. After all, you’ve saved up for ages for the holiday and if something goes wrong the last thing you want is to be worried about the financial implications.

As with most insurance, the best travel insurance bargains are to be found on the Internet. Search on your favourite search engine for “travel insurance”. The brokers usually provide the best value for money as they will have access to a wide range of insurance providers and can pick …

Travel Insurance: Sun, Sand and Sickness

Travel Insurance: Sun, Sand and Sickness

Travel insurance is probably one of the most confusing types of insurance around. Numerous clauses, sub-clauses and a myriad of little stipulations make for a very complicated policy, which nevertheless is very important for any holiday-maker.

People going on holiday tend to adopt an ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude and, hopefully, it won’t. But nobody is immune to ill-health or robbery, and baggage loss can happen to the best of us. So, for sheer peace of mind, it’s worth looking into travel insurance when booking your trip.

The medical aspect of a travel insurance policy is probably the most important and the most needed. Far more people fall ill abroad than you’d think, and the cost of OTC medication can be extortionate abroad as well as at home. Even contracting a simple stomach bug can cost you dearly. And if you need to be hospitalised in a foreign country, you could find yourself deeply out of pocket – most countries don’t have an equivalent to the NHS.

It’s important to remember that most travel insurance policies won’t cover you for any problems related to pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer, especially if you haven’t mentioned these to your insurer when taking out the policy. Like any other type of insurance, omitting details on application can result in claims being refused, so make sure you tell them everything. This also goes for any dependents who are travelling with you; their medical history needs to be disclosed, but if the holiday is cut short because of a pre-existing condition it’s unlikely you’ll be reimbursed. Pregnancy, although technically a pre-existing condition, will normally be covered as long as you will be less than 28 weeks pregnant by the end of your trip (24 weeks for a multiple pregnancy). This restriction can vary between insurers, so always check your policy.

If you lose your possessions on holiday, your insurer will normally only pay out if you had taken reasonable care of them; if you had left them unattended you will be seen as negligent and claims will normally be refused. Likewise, if you leave any valuables unattended in your hotel room, vehicle or mobile home, and they are stolen, you may not be able to claim. If possible, keep your valuables in a room or hotel safe, or keep them on your person.

If your holiday has to be cancelled, there are some situations you will not be covered for. If you cancel simply because you decide not to go, for example because of a relationship break-up, you won’t be refunded. If your holiday is cancelled by the hotel, or if you have an accident or unforeseen emergency at home, most insurers will refund the costs you have paid so far, plus any cancellation fees due. Again, check your policy first to see what is and isn’t covered.

When you look for a travel insurance policy, don’t just go on price alone. Annual travel insurance may work out cheaper, but …