Invest in Safe Travel With the Right Family Travel Insurance

Planning a family holiday can be exciting, especially when finalising the itinerary. But being prepared for the holiday does not end with listing the places you are going to visit. One of the most crucial steps in planning a break away is getting family travel insurance. The questions should not be whether you will or won’t get it; it should just be a question of what needs to be covered and what special circumstances could arise during your trip when you might need emergency medical assistance. You need to plan ahead and be flexible – but don’t forget the things that really count, starting with the following.

Don’t Skimp on the Essentials

While you may not necessarily need car rental cover included in your family travel insurance if you’re not going to drive abroad, medical assistance is always an essential, especially if one or more members of the family has a specific condition that may need to be attended to immediately – such as asthma or diabetes. Baggage loss and passport replacement are other basic concerns that definitely need to be covered. However, before deciding on adding another clause to the policy you are going to purchase, check that these are not already covered in a separate policy you currently hold – like household, for instance.

Shop Around to Know Your Options

If this is the first time you’ve purchased family travel insurance, the first thing you need to know is your family’s eligibility. For starters, a basic package for a family will cover two adults and four children less than 18 years of age. The next thing to figure out is whether to get single-trip or a multi-trip insurance. Basically, a single-trip policy will cover you for the extent of your holiday and will expire when you get back to your home country. This is an ideal option for families who don’t do a lot of travelling. On the other hand, families who frequently go abroad might be able to make a more efficient purchase with multi-trip insurance, which is usually good for one year and doesn’t need to be renewed or repurchased every time you go away.

Declare Medical Conditions Up Front

Especially when travelling with babies or young children, it is crucial to be transparent when you’re buying family travel insurance. This means declaring any existing medical conditions of every member of the family. Doing this not only helps you make an informed decision about which policy you need, but it is also vital information when it comes to processing a claim. Ignore this at your peril – honesty is always the best policy.

5 Lies You’ll Tell Yourself to Avoid Family Travel Insurance

Family travel insurance is a vital protective measure for anyone who falls ill or encounters unforeseen (and often unfortunate) circumstances while abroad. Medical coverage, evacuation, reimbursing cancelled tickets, protection against theft – these are just some of the benefits of choosing a package designed to cover all family members.

Yet why is it that some people still choose not to avail of family travel insurance? Here are some of the most common excuses:

It Just Costs Too Much

The immediate cost is one of the most common reasons – if not the most common – for families to skip getting cover. But, in fact, it is the financially constrained who need it the most. Indeed, you may be putting a hundred pounds or so into buying cover for your family, but that money could prevent you from spending thousands of pounds – maybe even tens or hundreds of thousands – if something goes wrong while traveling abroad. Spending a little to protect yourself and your loved ones is nothing when compared to that possibility.

Risks? What Risks? You Only Live Once!

Wilful ignorance and a romantic view of reckless abandon are two of the more frivolous reasons why people skip out on travel cover. Simply put, these people can’t be bothered with the minor details of traveling abroad. They only see the beautiful, the exciting and the romantic, while refusing to see the risks, dangers and complications.

Only when it is too late may they realize that a little bit of research and financial outlay could have saved them a world of trouble.

I’m Special and Blessed and Nothing Will Happen to Me

This kind of thinking is another pretty common reason why people choose not to avail of family travel insurance. Destiny, divine favour, spiritual protection – call it what you will – some people assume that they’re untouchable for one supernatural reason or another, and that nothing unfortunate will happen to them as long as they cling to that idea. But tempting fate is never a good idea, especially when it comes to misplaced faith. A divine lesson in humility may be doled out in one of the most inopportune moments, and it could take years (even decades) to recover from the resulting medical and financial damage.

It’s Just a Quick Trip to a Familiar Place

Familiarity breeds complacency, which yields its own kind of danger when travelling. While a stranger may stumble around not knowing what to do, visitors familiar with the ins and outs of a location often relax their vigilance. The result: a danger that could have been noticed early on is ignored because of complacency. All it takes is one bad event, and even the most seasoned tourist can pay a hefty price if caught without the protection of proper insurance.

I’m Already Covered By My Bank/Carrier/EHIC/Credit Card

Make sure you read the fine print of any kind of insurance, especially since the coverage provided in ‘free’ packages is often lacking when compared to complete family travel insurance. Banks, airline carriers and even the venerable European Health Insurance Card offer some measure of protection while travelling – but it’s not comprehensive. You will still end up spending a significant chunk of money out of your own pocket if you are caught unawares by one clause or another designed more for the benefit of the institution than your own. Government intervention is helping to alleviate this problem, with legislation forcing banks and carriers to either step up their coverage or abandon claims altogether. Until these laws come into full force, however, it is still best to work with a dedicated provider.

Have you noticed yourself using one, some, or all of these excuses? If the answer is yes, you may want to reconsider your reasons, lest you find yourself without protection when you need it the most!

Important Aspects to Consider For Family Travel Insurance

Travelling is an extremely personal experience, so is naturally customised from the flight details right down to what kind of food one prefers while abroad. Planning a holiday is imperative if things are to run smoothly and, especially for families who are on a budget, even small details are crucial to its success.

One of the most important components in the planning stage is figuring out what type of family travel insurance you need. While there are myriad options to choose from, this doesn’t automatically make the process easier – on the contrary, it might even cause confusion to some when searching for the right policy. This is why it’s so crucial to ask the right questions, starting with the following.

Do Pregnant Women Get Automatic Coverage?

When it comes to family travel insurance, pregnant women are considered high risk – especially those who are already in their third trimester. But being pregnant doesn’t necessarily mean not being able to travel at all – it just means that you may need to observe more caution. (The rules, of course, vary depending on insurance providers.) If you’ve already purchased an annual family policy, if you’re pregnant you might be able to get at least partial coverage (such as basic medical assistance) in select destinations. However, for a more thorough coverage, it’s still best to update any existing policies and include flight cancellation or, if possible, comprehensive healthcare service abroad in case the baby comes early. Naturally, it might be a little more expensive than normal rates, but given the situation, getting a good policy is imperative.

Can You Cancel or Postpone For Any Reason?

This is one of the first questions that need to be cleared up. Basic family travel insurance may have coverage for flight cancellations due to inclement weather or terrorist threats in the city or country destination; however, there are many more possible reasons why you may need to cancel or at least postpone flights, and these possibilities need to be addressed accordingly. For instance, if a family member (especially a child) suffers a medical emergency on the day of the flight, everybody’s flights would need to be cancelled as well. While perfectly understandable, there are some companies that will not refund the entire cost of the plane tickets. Specifying this possibility before buying your policy could at least ensure a partial refund in the event of cancellations for any reason.

Does Your Policy Include Collision Coverage?

Some people think that travelling to another country means mainly public transport or walking everywhere. This might be true for short trips and relatively short distances between towns in some countries, but when planning a month-long holiday with the entire family, it often makes more sense to rent a car in order to be able to get around conveniently. This is where the collision coverage comes in handy in a family travel insurance policy. However, as much as it offers convenience, driving abroad also has its risks. Getting cover for any vehicular damages due to collision is a great idea, however this needs to be on top of an already existing medical policy covering any injuries sustained.

The Importance Of Comprehensive Family Travel Insurance

Surprising numbers of people jet off on an international break every year without the assurance of family travel insurance. This choice may be made due to a reluctance to spend additional money, an ignorance of the risks, or simply a lapse in memory. However, travellers should be warned that there have been countless instances of people being lumbered with huge financial strain after sustaining serious holiday injuries or experiencing other unforeseen events while away.

Here, we re-emphasise the importance of appropriate holiday cover.

Expert Advice

The benefits of family travel insurance have been highlighted by the Foreign Office in recent times. They’ve revealed that forms of cover such as the European Health Insurance card do not act as a comprehensive safeguard against the wide variety of holiday eventualities. Travellers worried about the prospects of theft, injury and other unforeseen circumstances are strongly encouraged to consider the range of policies offered by specialist insurers.

Preparing For the Worst

The vast majority of holidays prove to be enjoyable and completely hassle free. However, those tourists who are unlucky enough to sustain serious injuries or illnesses are no doubt thankful for the safeguard of appropriate cover. They are able to rely upon financial protection in the event of emergency airlifts and repatriation, and insurers may even be prepared to pay out for electronic equipment that is unexpectedly lost or damaged – depending, of course, on the policy purchased.

Cover Based Around the Travellers Needs

People are often surprised by the range of financial safeguards guaranteed by a good policy provider; a reputable insurer will offer a range reasonably priced policies that include exceptional levels of cover for medical treatment and repatriation. Some providers also offer financial protection for those who miss flights due to unforeseen circumstances. It’s always worth bearing in mind, however, that claims can be rejected due to forgetfulness or ignorance on the part of the traveller.

Protection for the Family

It’s all very well facing the personal risk of travelling abroad without cover, if that’s your choice, but it’s worth questioning what would happen if a loved one became the unexpected victim of crime or illness while abroad. Travellers who’ve opted to remain uninsured may not be able to find the money for medical and legal assistance, which would be covered by a simple family travel insurance policy. Some of the better-known insurers even provide free cover for younger children.

The Availability of Cover

It’s worth remembering that the industry is extremely competitive. There are a wide variety of companies attempting to attract clientele to their policies and it is relatively easy to identify good deals on price comparison websites. However, potential customers are should spend time considering their options and reading the policy small print before making a decision. Independent advice should be sought if there are any issues regarding the suitability of the family travel insurance policy chosen.

Advice Regarding Rejected Family Travel Insurance Claims

A considerable number of family travel insurance claims are rejected every year. The reasons vary from failure to disclose personal information and ignorance of the policy small print. However, it’s important to remember that disgruntled travellers do have the right to complain if they feel that their claims haven’t been properly processed. It is worth perusing the information outlined in this helpful article – but do remember, this is only a guide and does not constitute legal advice.

Consider the Policy Details

It is always advisable to double-check the policy small print subsequent to any claim rejections. You should ascertain, firstly, whether details provided when you purchased your family travel insurance were completely accurate. The insurance company should also provide a completely transparent overview of the levels of cover for different eventualities. They may not be prepared to pay out for lost gadgets or medical care provided after unexpected winter sports injuries, for example, and you may also be expected to pay a specific amount of excess.

Get In Touch With the Provider

It may be possible to contact your family travel insurance specialist after reading the policy small print and considering the unique circumstances of a claim. There are usually the options of phoning and speaking directly with a specialist claims handler or writing a letter to the company in question. Any relevant evidence should be included and a clear statement of intent should be made regarding the issue.

Prepare For the Case to Be Disputed

A reputable company will take steps to ensure that claims are resolved fairly and quickly. However, there are always stories regarding less than scrupulous companies who’ve refused to pay out prior to the threat of legal action. For instance, one such company rejected a claim involving a man who lost his life in the Alps. They claimed that he’d ignored the policy small print regarding off-piste skiing, however in fact he’d lost his life while walking back to his holiday residence. The key is to only purchase insurance through a reputable provider and issues such as this will have no bearing.

Seek Independent Support

If a family travel insurance claim is disputed you can also seek the assistance of an independent assessor if you feel it is warranted. They will consider the liability of the insurer and the scale of financial reimbursement in question. Further action can be undertaken with the Financial Ombudsman Services, but they will only be able to help if the insurers have issued a ‘final response’ or eight weeks have passed since the original date of the claim. Specialists working for the Financial Ombudsman do have the power to demand a full explanation and compensation from companies. The Financial Ombudsman service is completely free.

Enlisting Other Forms Of Help

Anyone overwhelmed by the thought of making a claim on their family travel insurance may consider the option of employing a claims management specialist. However, it’s worth pointing out that such professionals often demand relatively high fees and shares of any money paid out. Significant amounts may also be charged for legal representation in the courts.