May 2024

Top five things to consider when purchasing travel insurance

Top five things to consider when purchasing travel insurance


According to the Association of British Insurers, 56% of travel insurance claims in 2012 were made to cover medical expenses. With this in mind, it is important to ensure your travel insurance meets your requirements.

Medical cover

For most people medical cover is the most important factor within their travel insurance policy. Coverage worth £2 million is recommended for travel in Europe, with a £5 million value suggested for the rest of the world. In many countries medical care is paid for privately on a case by case basis. Without insurance any individual needing treatment while on holiday could be forced to pay extremely large sums of money for necessary help. In emergencies or serious incidents the medical bills could run to hundreds of thousands of pounds. The best travel insurance also offers support for repatriation, providing services to get you home if you cannot meet your pre-booked arrangements. Where this could include an air ambulance and a nurse chaperone, without insurance this could again be very expensive. It is essential to make sure you insurance provider aware of any pre-existing medical conditions, as any dishonesty could invalidate the policy should you need to make a claim.

Protection for lost luggage and valuables

It is worth checking the upper limit available for claims to replace lost baggage or valuables while away. Travel insurance also needs to cover items lost while under the responsibility of the airline – this is not always a standard feature. As well as the total sum which can be claimed for belongings, there are usually limits on the value attributed to individual items such as cameras and expensive electronics. In addition, there is also usually a limit to the amount of cash currency which can be replaced, or value of stolen travellers’ cheques. Try and avoid carrying too much currency, as in some cases large sums will not be protected.


According to the ABI study mentioned above, the second most common cause of insurance claims is for cancellations of holidays. Reputable insurers will accept claims where holidays need cancelling due to death in the family or periods of illness. Ensure the value of this cover will be sufficient to provide transport back to your home country if you are forced to cut short your stay.

Personal protection

Although it is not often used, personal liability protection is invaluable. In the event of an injury abroad where there is another party involved who claims their injury is your fault, personal liability protection can help with the legal bills. There are plenty of example around the web. I would recommend reading a few examples from reliable institutions. For example, you can find policies offered by Age UK here The link has clearly defined information regarding their level of personal liability protection.


Most people expect that when they claim on their insurance, the replacement goods will be new yet this is not always the case. Ensure you are clear on the details of your policy before misunderstandings occur. Likewise, glasses and reading glasses are not always covered by general travel insurance so it is important to check this if you need your glasses for vision.


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