You will of course know by now that I enjoy walking, trekking, climbing, anything that involves the use of my legs, fresh air and amazing scenery. Lets face it there are many countries with stunning views, amazing walks and rich culture. So rather than just stay on my own doorstep, its nice to travel abroad once in a while to see how other cultures behave and experience all of it first hand.
Which brings me on to insurance, more specifically travel insurance. For a trekker having travel insurance when I travel abroad is a must. Whilst I am “Miss safety conscious”, trekking and mountain climbing is of course more risky, than spending two weeks laying by the pool, so it’s important that I choose the right policy.
Whilst the gear I take with me doesn’t cost tens of thousands, I can’t afford to replace it all, should it get lost or stolen, so good baggage cover is important. High on the list of priorities is Emergency medical expenses and I look for a policy that includes search and rescue. (I never plan on getting lost but in foreign lands you never know when disaster is going to strike!)
Any policy that I choose must also cover me for the activities I am going to undertake. Its important to know the height you will be trekking or climbing to, as many policies have height limits and if you need to go above these, you might need to find a policy that automatically covers you, or pay an additional premium. If you plan on skiing or snowboarding, as a friend of mine found out!, make sure your policy covers you for winter sports. Rarely does holiday insurance cover it automatically and premiums normally double for ski cover.
As I camp out much of the time I go abroad, the cost of holidays for me is only really the flight and food, so high cancellation cover isn’t as important, although even the cheaper policies will cover up to £1,000, plenty for my needs!
I find its a balance between a cheaply priced policy and one with as low an excess as possible. I don’t really want to be forking out an extra hundred in excess costs, if the worst happens and I need to make a claim, so I try and find a policy that has a small or no excess.
Finally this bit of advice was pointed out to me by a friend of mine a few years ago. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you must find a policy which will cover it. Don’t forget to declare any medical conditions, even if you think they are not relevant. Nothing would be worse than going on holiday having to make a claim for an injury or medical complaint, only to be told that you are not covered because you failed to declare existing conditions. It is just not worth it and for minor ailments, often there is no change in the premium.
OK so now you have a check list of things to look out for, how do you actually find a suitable policy. There are hundreds of Travel Insurers out there and many comparison sites, although they only deal with a few travel policies. If you need something specialist you may be missing out.
There is only one company I have found which actually independently reviews every travel policy, including all the niche ones and they are www.thatsinsurance.com. They aren’t affiliated to any particular company and I have found them very useful, especially if you need travel insurance with medical conditions. You can search through their database find a company that offers the cover you need, get an idea of the price and then go straight to that companies website to take out a policy.
Anyway enough from me now, I hope you have found this information useful, of course welcome your comments and if you find any travel insurance policies which aren’t mentioned let me know.