Staysure loves a recommendation, especially when it comes from a leading financial expert. Martin Lewis, founder of moneysavingexpert.com, has recently done just that on his ITV primetime show, “The Martin Lewis Money Show”, naming us as a leading travel insurance provider for pre-existing medical conditions.
He focuses on the fact that after forking out for a holiday, you might think it’s okay to leave travel insurance to nearer the time. In fact, many people leave it to a week before they leave but Martin warns us this could be very risky: “If you have booked your holiday, but don’t have travel insurance, do it tonight, otherwise you’re running a risk. Don’t leave it, that’s pointless.”
Why get insured right away?
Pre-existing medical conditions
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, travel insurance including cancellation cover is vital. After all, you may have a last-minute medical emergency and you won’t want to lose out on the money you’ve spent if you can’t travel. Provided you declare all your pre-existing medical conditions at the time you take out your policy, you should be able to recover your costs and rebook your holiday for when the doctor declares you well enough to travel.
A possible scenario: your flight is cancelled or badly delayed. The EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 states that it’s the airline’s responsibility to provide you with alternative transport or a refund. They may also pay for meals, refreshments and hotel accommodation should you need them during the delay.
All very well, but travel insurance can also cover other costs incurred due to the delay or cancellation, such as your pre-paid, unused accommodation, travel tickets and car hire – these can mount up so check the limits stated in the policy.
Bear in mind that many policies cater for delayed departure too. So if the public transport you previously booked to your UK departure point is delayed for at least 12 hours due to: strike; industrial action; adverse weather conditions; mechanical breakdown; or a technical fault on your mode of transport, you will be covered – again up to the limits stated in the policy.
And should your flight be delayed or cancelled for over 24 hours and you’re not offered an alternative means of transport, delayed departure cover may also entitle you to abandon your trip altogether and claim back the costs.
Please note, not all travel insurance policies include these aspects of cancellation cover as standard.
As always, it’s a good idea to make absolutely sure that you are adequately covered at the time you take out your policy. The level of cancellation cover you need of course depends on the cost and type of holiday you’re taking – Staysure is happy to adjust this to suit your individual needs.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
In the show, Martin also comments: “An EHIC is just for medical treatments in the EU but you might have to pay for it. If it’s not free for locals, travel insurance would pay for that.”
He goes on to explain that travel insurance often includes cover for repatriation and lost or stolen baggage including cash, cameras, even golf clubs and wedding rings, in addition to paying out for cancellation and delays – all of which you don’t get with an EHIC. What’s more, the EHIC does not cover countries outside the EEA or ones without health agreements with the UK, making travel insurance even more important.