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Travel Insurance


We recommend that you take Travel Insurance for all of your holidays.
Please call out Travel Insurance Partner

Freephone 0800 294 2972
Quote Westoe Travel L4746 to obtain preferential rates

*Medical Condition Experts
*Range of Insurance providers
*No Age Limit

Why is having travel insurance important?
Whilst you hopefully won’t have to make a claim, travel insurance is there to protect you in the event that something goes wrong – it will cover you for medical costs should you need treatment abroad; if your flights are cancelled or delayed and it can provide some compensation if your possessions are stolen.

What should a travel insurance policy cover?
A good comprehensive policy will cover the following areas.

Medical expenses: these can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, sometimes even higher, particularly in the USA. Travel insurance will cover those bills. We suggest that you choose a policy with a minimum of £2m of medical cover in Europe and £5m worldwide. Note that if you have a pre-existing medical condition it is vital you declare it to the insurance company.

Always check the small print, but most insurance policies will cover:

Emergency medical treatment
A return flight should you miss yours due to medical problems
Accommodation and travel expenses for someone to stay with you
The cost of someone to travel out from the UK if your doctor recommends it.
Cancellation charges: if you fall ill or lose your job and are unable to travel the resulting cancellation fees should be covered by your travel insurance. For this reason it is important that you purchase insurance at the time of booking as you can never predict when you might need to cancel. Check to see what financial level of cover your policy provides and what type of cover your policy offers for the following:

Family bereavement
Pregnancy (unknown when you buy the policy)
Jury service or witness summons
Home emergency: fire, storm or flood, burglary
Bad weather – affects the departure of flights and ships.
Lost luggage and belongings: we suggest your policy provides – as a minimum – financial cover equivalent to the value of the luggage and belongings you are taking.

Look for insurance that protects your possessions and baggage at all points of your holiday – particularly baggage lost while it is in the care of an airline.

Most travel insurance policies will cover:
Individual valuable items – although there is generally a cap on how much is paid out per item
Lost and stolen items and luggage
Lost and stolen cash and travellers’ cheques
Travel insurance will cover lost and stolen belongings but make sure that you take good care of them. For example, if you leave your baggage unattended or in an unlocked hire car or check high value goods into the aircraft hold, the insurance company may take the view that you did not take due care and this may affect your claim.
Association of British Insurers (ABI)

If you are in doubt about your policy, check the ABI's website, which provides you with general information on insurance.

What a travel insurance policy doesn’t cover
This will vary from policy to policy, so always check the small print. The following are a list of common travel insurance exclusions:

Incidents that occur after drinking too much or taking drugs, you might not be covered if you have an accident or lose something. Don’t leave your common sense at home!
Theft of unattended possessions – many insurers require that you take ‘reasonable’ care
Sports, extreme sports and some leisure activities such as skiing, white water rafting or bungee jumping – you may need to extend your policy or buy a specialist policy
Medical treatment resulting from existing medical conditions that you have not declared or conditions preventable by vaccine or advisable medication such as anti-malarials
Medical costs incurred if you stay abroad after your doctor advises you are fit to return to the UK
Strikes and industrial action, if the date of the strike/industrial action was known when you booked your trip
Rescheduled flights, where the airline has cancelled and then rescheduled your flight
Travel to destinations where the FCDO advises against all but essential travel – this is easy to check.
How to use your travel insurance.
How to use your travel insurance
Once you’ve taken out your travel insurance policy, it is really important that you, the people you are travelling with, and friends or family back home know how to activate your insurance should you need it.

Have your policy details on you

Keep your policy number and your insurer’s international phone number on you when you are on your travels. Having it with you at all times means that you have it to hand should you need it – this will help you get access to any support or medical care you need as quickly as possible.

Keep Health & Medical ID section in your smartphones up-to-date

If you are a smartphone user, keep the medical ID section in your phone up to date (including an emergency contact for a friend or family member) and store your policy number and insurer’s international phone number in the medical notes section.

For step-by-step advice about how to add medical and insurance information to:

an Apple phone, click here
an Android phone, click here.
Ring your insurer first

If you need advice and assistance regarding medical care whilst overseas, contact your travel insurance company. They’ll be able to advise on the best way to access medical care where you are staying and may have preferred or recommended hospitals or medical centres nearby.

In the event of an emergency or hospitalisation if you are able, contact the insurance provider as soon as possible.

If you are incapacitated, providing that they have access to the insurance policy number and the insurance company contact details, your travelling companion or emergency contact at home or in some cases the treating doctor can do this for you.

Tell your travel companions about your travel insurance

It’s important to remember that if you need your travel insurance, you may be in a situation where you can’t contact your insurer yourself.

To make sure you get the help you need as quickly as possible, tell the people you are travelling with how to contact your travel insurer on your behalf. Let them know the name of your travel insurance company, where your insurance details are kept, or even give them a copy of your details.

Leave details of your travel insurance with friends or family back home

Depending on the circumstances, you may need a friend or family member back at home to contact your travel insurance company on your behalf. Leave a copy of your travel insurance documents with friends or family back home, and make sure they are aware of your essential details eg date of birth, address, policy number.

EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)
What is an EHIC?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. A valid EHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare at a reduced cost or, in many cases, free of charge, during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.

The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you still need travel insurance as it will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as being flown back to the UK if you are seriously ill or mountain rescue in ski resorts, which can be extremely costly should you require an air ambulance or mountain rescue. EHIC also does not cover cancellations or lost or stolen possessions.

Remember that state-provided medical care abroad may not be same as in the UK and this care may not include ancillary services such as food, bathing or bed linen. Many countries expect patients to contribute up to 20% of the costs and many also exclude dental care. This makes it important to have both an EHIC card and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist you hold an EHIC, and many will waive the excess if you have one.

If you have travel insurance you may be able to use private medical facilities however you should check the medical cover details in your policy. Some insurance policies include a clause that they will only provide cover if you have and use an EHIC and may specifically exclude private facilities and reserve the right to move you to a public facility.

The NHS has a comprehensive list of what is available in each country.

How to get an EHIC

The NHS website is also the place to go to apply online for an EHIC, which is available free of charge.

Please note a number of official-looking websites, most of which appear above the NHS site when you do an internet search, offer to help you apply for your card for a charge. There is no benefit in using these sites as applying through the NHS site is free, a very straightforward process and the card is usually issued without significant delay.

Families should be aware that everyone, including small children, will need their own card. The NHS site also details the level of cover and any relevant charges country by country.

What help can the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provide?
It is important that people understand what the FCDO can and cannot do to help British nationals who get into trouble abroad. Many holidaymakers mistakenly believe that if something happens to them abroad, the Foreign Office will pay their medical bills get them home. The Foreign Office provides an invaluable service in helping British nationals abroad but they cannot cover medical costs, that’s why it’s so important to have travel insurance.

The FCDO can:

Issue you with replacement travel documents
Provide information about transferring money
Provide help if you have suffered rape or serious sexual or physical assault, are a victim of crime, are ill or in hospital
Give you a list of local lawyers, interpreters, doctors or funeral directors
Contact you if you are detained abroad
Contact friends and family back home for you if you wish
Provide help in cases of forced marriage
Assist people affected by parental child abduction.
For a more detailed breakdown of what the Foreign Office covers visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-insurance.

Other commonly asked questions about travel insurance
Detailed below are answers to some of the other commonly asked questions about travel insurance.

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