Travel insurance is strongly recommended for any trip abroad, but there are certain pitfalls in the small print which can make your cover invalid and void any claim you may then need to make.
One of the main things that can invalidate your travel insurance claim which many people don’t know about is the consumption of alcohol whilst on holiday.
If you've had just ONE drink and then lose something or have an accident, it can invalidate any claim as your insurance may not cover you.
All insurers all have different interpretations of this and moneysupermarket.com explains that this ranges in the Terms and Conditions from 'drinking too much' to 'approx four pints' to 'alcoholic abuse'.
Most insurers say is that it all comes down to whether the drink has affected your decision-making ability. As people have different tolerances, for many this could mean that just one drink could invalidate a claim.
Policy to policy varies, but having a claim refused could leave you with financial difficulties as you could possibly be excluded from medical or possessions cover.
For example, if you’re away on a skiing holiday and have a couple of beers in between slopes, this could the cause accidents to happen, which you may not be covered for.
Some policies also don’t cover winter sporting activities or activities considered extreme or which could potentially cause injury, so this is always worth checking in the small print.
As winter sports are considered to be dangerous you should make sure you are insured on the slopes when purchasing travel insurance. This way, as well as being covered for the basics that you get under a standard travel policy, you'll also be insured for any activity-related injury and your winter sports equipment.
When purchasing travel insurance check what your provider states in regards to alcohol consumption and if there’s any particular activity you plan to do whilst away, it’s worth checking that this is also covered.
Other common travel insurance pitfalls...
Don't leave arranging your travel insurance too late
Another common mistake that people make is booking a holiday or trip away and NOT purchasing travel insurance at the same time.
Although you do not need to buy it through the holiday provider (this is usually more expensive), if you don’t purchase travel insurance from the time you book your holiday, you won’t be covered if anything goes wrong in the lead up to your trip.
Moneysavingexpert.com explains that the aim of travel insurance is to cover the cost of anything unforeseen, including illness, injury or theft of your personal possessions whilst on holiday.
Travel insurance is also designed to cover you if you have to cancel your trip, or need to return early due to an emergency.
Travel insurance won't just cover you while you're away; it will also cover you for cancellations or anything else that might go wrong BEFORE you make your trip.
This is why if you don’t purchase travel insurance at the time that you book your trip or anytime before you go away, if anything happens in the run up to your holiday which prevents you from going, you could potentially lose hundreds or thousands of pounds.
Consider buying annual cover
If you’re intending on going away twice or more in a 12-month period then annual cover works out cheaper.
Annual cover often works out cheaper than buying two single trip policies, so if you’re going away more than once this usually works out better.
However, always do the calculations and work out which is best for you, as insurance also varies depending on where you're travelling to and for how long.
However, if you buy an annual policy you can take a third trip knowing that your travel insurance cover is already set up and in force.
Avoid purchasing from a travel agent or airline
According to moneysavingexpert.com, purchasing insurance from a travel agent or airline could cost up to seven times more, whether it be for a single trip away or an annual policy.
If possible, try to avoid purchasing from a travel agent or airline and use comparison sites to check out other policies.
Choose the right cover to suit your needs, including medical conditions, length of trip and any activities you intended to do while abroad.