The Travel Insurance FAQ

Buying cheap travel insurance has never been simpler, with a huge number of insurance companies offering easy online booking and claims. While the vast majority of people who buy travel insurance do so without a hitch, there are times when people are left scratching their heads, uncertain as to what policy they need to buy or what level of cover is on offer. Here are some answers to a few of the trickier travel insurance questions…

Am I covered for working abroad?

Almost always, foreign working is not covered by standard travel insurance policies. Study abroad is usually covered, and you may be able to claim if you are doing some casual part time work (such as bar work or working as a casual construction worker), but full time employment is out. Speak to your employer or a specialist insurer if you are looking for insurance cover for long term foreign employment.

I’m at the airport, but I’ve forgotten to buy travel insurance. Is it too late?

Interestingly, the answer to this depends on whether or not you’ve passed through security. Almost all UK travel insurance companies will only insure you if you’re in the UK when you make your purchase. If you have just arrived at the airport terminal, there’s still time to try and buy some cheap travel insurance. Once you are through security, technically speaking you have left the country, and cannot buy any kind of travel insurance.

I think I’ve made a mistake when I bought my travel insurance. Can I cancel?

All travel insurance policies feature a 14 day “cooling off” period that will allow you to cancel and receive a full refund within a fortnight of purchase. Of course, this is dependent on you not having travelled or used your insurance within this period of time!

I was treated for cancer a few years ago. Do I need to declare this when I buy my travel insurance?

Double check with your travel insurance company before you make a purchase for the exact conditions that your insurance provider will impose. Normally, previously treated cancer counts as a pre-existing medical condition that must be declared to the insurer, and may lead to you paying a higher premium.

Will my insurance refund the cost of my holiday if my Tour Operator goes out of business?

The collapse of a number of low cost airlines and tour operators has got everyone worried about financial protection. This is something that varies from travel insurance policy to travel insurance policy, so check the small print and ask your insurer – an increasing number of policies do provide cover for airline and tour operator collapse, but many still do not. If you are still worried, check to see if your holiday and flights will be covered by one of the larger regulatory bodies, such as AITO, ABTA, and ATOL.

These are just a few of the questions that people need to ask before they buy travel insurance. If your circumstances are straightforward, buying insurance is a very quick and simple process, but make sure that there are no circumstances that could invalidate your policy. If something goes wrong on holiday, you want to be sure that your travel insurance will be there to keep you covered.