What your customers need to know about travel insurance

9th June 2022

Some headlines would have us believe that the British public are abandoning their summer holiday plans when in fact demand is very strong. Read more about passenger rights in The Independent.

Given the number of people travelling it is more important than ever to have comprehensive travel insurance cover for the type of risks that people do expose themselves to when travelling overseas. This is without considering the added complications of COVID still being out there albeit in a far milder form.

It’s useful to be reminded about the many benefits of travel insurance so that you are prepared if a customer asks. The BIBA travel insurance scheme providers AllClear for Medical Travel and JLU for Holiday and Sports Travel are always happy to help and find suitable cover for even the most challenging of risks.

Cancellation and abandonment

  • Travel insurance is not just about cancellation. Recent chaos caused by airline schedule changes is not covered by most insurance policies, but the airline or travel provider should offer refunds or vouchers.
  • Cancellation insurance is, however, designed to cover the unexpected such as accident or illness of people travelling or their immediate family. It can also cover unforeseen circumstances like a serious house fire or flood, jury service and involuntary redundancy.
  • While on holiday most policies will include cover if a trip is cut short for an insured reason such as injury or illness, being called as a witness or Armed Forces, Police Fire or Nursing service leave being cancelled because of an unexpected emergency.

Medical expenses

By far the most expensive claims are for medical expenses. Since we exited the EU, EHICS ( Euorpean Health Insurance Cards  are no longer available to British travellers though existing, unexpired cards may still be used. Travellers can apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) but must remember that not all countries recognise these cards.

Health insurance cards do not guarantee free medical treatment some may require a contribution and are not valid if you are taken to a private hospital. Some medical providers will only offer limited treatement and some may make a charge even if they are local state providers.  EHICS and GHICS  will not provide for repatriation, medical evacuation or for travel companions to remain with an ill or injured traveller.

High medical costs in some parts of the world can result in severe financial problems for the uninsured. This is particularly relevant to the USA where the strength of the dollar against the pound has seen huge inflation in medical costs being seen in some recent claims.  A recent broken tibia as an example cost £108k and cellulitis in the right hand – £128k.

 

 Key information for travellers  

  • Arrive at stations, docks or airports in plenty of time.
  • Consider avoiding the periods of highest demand.
  • Remember if a holiday maker contracts COVID while on holiday, additional accommodation costs for self-isolating would have to be paid if there is no travel insurance.
  • Some polices will pay a daily benefit if you are delayed in returning from holiday.
  • Most insurance policies clearly state the circumstances in which benefits will or won’t be paid so best advice in the current circumstances is to check the policy wording before you go on holiday.

Conditions of booking

 Some countries will insist on travel insurance with COVID cover before allowing people across their border.

Cruise passengers need to be aware that if they fall ill the cruise liner could arrange for their disembarkation at the next port of call. Without travel insurance the costs of medical treatment at the port of disembarkation, additional accommodation and repatriation would fall on the holiday maker.

All of which we hope, serves to remind you and your customers, that having a good quality travel insurance policy is more important than ever.