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Family travel insurance: six pitfalls to avoid

family travel insurance tipsIt’s time to renew Team Minted’s annual travel insurance policy. Theoretically this should be easy: go to a comparison website such as Money Super Market* and press go on the options it gives you. However, as we all (including the children) get older and more adventurous, I discover that it’s not so simple.

As I’ve benefited from travel cover, see my blog on how I had to claim for cancelling my holiday, I’m very much aware of how important it is to fill in all the relevant boxes. Sadly insurers will use any excuse not to pay out a claim so it’s worth being honest about your health, even if it’s going to cost another £20. Skimping is a false economy. Many of the cheapest travel policies don’t cover as many eventualities as you’d hope – which is not what you want to discover after a car crash in Santorini. So here are my top six checks before you buy and fly.

1. Underinsuring

If you’ve paid £5,000 per person for a ticket and hotel, make sure any cancellation insurance covers the full amount. If you’ve only got cover for £2,000 per person, the insurer may not pay out at all.

2. Health problems

It’s tedious to list the entire family’s coughs and sneezes but you must. Major conditions and even minor ones such as asthma or high blood pressure should be declared, along with any operations or treatments in the past five years. I would go so far as to list any medicines prescribed, even sleeping pills.

3. Valuables

These are always best kept at home if possible. Many insurers impose a limit on what they will pay out for each item lost or stolen. Make sure the value of your essential lap-top, phone or bike/golf clubs is fully covered.

4. Dangerous sports

It’s interesting to compare what some insurers view as dangerous sports. On my own policy, scuba diving is just fine whereas canoeing is apparently perilous. If you’re planning an activity holiday, it’s worth giving the insurer a ring and outlining your plans. Upgrading the policy to include your potential bungee-jump or kite-surf is a sensible precaution.

5. Location, location, location

It’s easy with an annual policy to forget what it covers a few months down the line. You may have bought it with a summer trip to Europe in mind, in which case a spontaneous autumn break to New York probably won’t be covered unless you ticked worldwide cover. 

6. Solo family members

Parents are generally covered when travelling without the family but children heading off for a trip alone or with another family may not be.

See our SMM guide to travel insurance for more help.

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Friday, 24 May 2019