When you take out a travel insurance policy, either for a single or multi-trips,

1- What do you wish to be insured for?
2- What do you wish to be insured against?
3- What does your travel insurance actually cover?
4- When taking out the insurance, have you thought about the personal profiling?
5- Do you truly understand the pros and cons of what the insurance company require?
6- Do you know what type of insurance cover the insurance company has given you?

These questions are becoming vitally pertinent, especially in the current travel chaos and the present travel and insurance environment.



  1. Because of the amount of foreign business travel I do, typically about 10 trips a year, I have an annual policy. My main concern is medical costs, as nearly all my trips involve passage through, at least, the USA. Medical attention there is not cheap !

    A secondary concern is coverage of extra transport and accommodation costs in the event of being unable to make use of my ticket. I always buy the cheapest ticket and these are usually non-refundable.

    Provided these are covered adequately then anything else (baggage coverage, death benefit) is comparatively irrelevant. I confess that until very recently volcanic activity had not struck me as a potential hazard.

    Profiling ? Never considered it.

    I believe I am covered for what I want and I do read the small print. However, I know that insurance companies are there to make money out of me and may raise ridiculous hurdles to avoid meeting claims.

    The house was hit by lightning once and the PC, modem and answerphone went dead. The insurance company was contacted and they wanted a ‘written report’ about my losses. The PC report cost £40 + VAT and then repair (about £120) could commence. I decided a new answerphone at my expense was the way to go with the phone. Admittedly this was not a travel policy but you get the general weasly idea.

    My only claim ever against my travel policy was for treatment after breaking my foot in Iceland some years ago. They paid up in full (less excess) for x-rays and bandages etc. However, I suspect they took one look at the bill, in the Icelandic language, and resignedly got the cheque book out ! Today, I suspect I would have to get a certified translation of the bill in English at my expense before my claim could proceed. Probably being a tad cynical here though …

  2. Hi Chris,

    I don’t think you are cynical enough. This year, I renewed my annual policy, not sure how many times we’ll use it. The policy does cover some UK trips with the usual minimum requirements, it might pay its way. There was a gabbled and garbled list of profile questions…reading off menu lists must be boring and don’t merit the care they should by the operative. When I rang back to query a couple of things, I began to wonder what I was insured for, if I was insured for anything that did not incur an extra payment and if I had labelled myself incorrectly!

    A careful and thorough review into travel insurances will occur next year if we are not engulfed by something else that isn’t insurable without masses of extra dosh.

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