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Don't forget travel insurance when planning your summer holiday

06 August 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
It's that time of year again when everyone's talking about their summer holiday plans, but holidaymakers should ensure they take adequate travel insurance along with them, warns Defaqto.

Whether going on a long-awaited trip or grabbing a last minute bargain, hopping over to Europe or travelling around the world, people can never be sure what's around the corner and should get travel insurance to protect against unforeseen circumstances, Defaqto says.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will provide free or discounted medical treatment and can sometimes speed up the time it takes to get treatment, but it takes about a week to receive in the post, so plan ahead a bit and order it as soon as possible, said Brian Brown, head of Insight at Defaqto.

However, while the free EHIC offers some level of protection, it will not cover things like cancellations, lost luggage, or returning home if someone becomes ill, so even if travel will only take place within Europe, travel insurance can fill in the gaps.

When booking a holiday at the last minute, Defaqto suggests going for a travel insurance policy which does not include cancellation cover, as this can add a few pounds to the cost. The policy should be taken on the trip so that the traveller has access to a claims number in case of emergencies.

"You should take your travel insurance policy with you so you know who to contact in an emergency," said Brian Brown, "And always keep copies of receipts as you will need them if you need to make a claim."

When it comes to carrying cash around abroad, Mr Brown urges people to check their policy to see if it's covered as some travel insurance providers do not offer cover or only a limited amount. The conversion receipt should be kept in case of a claim.

Credit cards can also either push up the cost of a holiday or help to keep it down if the right one is chosen, says David Black at Defaqto. He suggests taking out a card which doesn't charge for overseas transactions and cash withdrawals, such as those from Abbey, Nationwide and The Post Office.

He also adds that for those going away for an extended period, such as on a gap-year, they should remember to make arrangements for paying their credit card bill while they're abroad.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd