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Taking out travel insurance

When you fly anywhere from Gatwick it is very important that you make sure you have a comprehensive travel insurance to cover you for any unexpected eventualities during your trip. If you take out any cover, it must cover you for healthcare.

You should choose the best policy to cover your requirements and compare the offers available to you.

Travel Insurance Guide

We have created the Travel Insurance Guide to compare insurance providers and give you all the information you could need on what their cover entails. It is a completely impartial and free guide where you can also read honest opinions from customers who have used policies and leave your own review.

Choosing your travel insurance

There are a vast amount of companies providing holiday insurance from your bank, breakdown cover providers to independent providers who specialise in specific policies. You have to check what you want covered and find a policy that is value for money but comprehensive.

If you are travelling to from Gatwick to a country within the EU your EHIC card allows you to have the same level of cover as is provided by that country to their population - but this still may mean you have to pay a fee for any health care which could be extremely large which is why you need travel insurance as well.

If you are a frequent flier then you could save a considerable amount of money purchasing Annual multi-trip cover cover which should cover you every time you fly.

If you go away once or twice a year an annual policy is not for you and it is Single trip cover which would be more cost effective to your lifestyle.

Once you have decided if annual or Single trip cover is suitable you will then have the unenviable task of trying to decide what specialist policy you need. If you are going on a ski trip then is it essential you do not buy basic cover but Ski holiday insurance, this is usually more expensive as you are more at risk of an accident swishing down slopes than lying on a beach for a summer holiday. You may also need to add equipment cover if you have your own skis, boots and poles as they may be considered extras.

On top of equipment cover, some companies also offer the option to add specific items that are particularly valuable to you. For example, SLR cameras, mobiles, tablets and laptops. Although some insurance policies may cover these it is worth double checking and adding them to your policy as "add-ons" if they are important to you.

Travellers using Gatwick Airport for business travel may find they require business equipment cover. This can be really useful as it may offer the option for a colleague to take your place if something happens and you cannot attend. It is worth researching this and speaking to your employer if you do plan on travelling for business.

Other specialist insurance includes over 65's cover which again is often (controversially) more expensive, so specific policies are in place for additional cover. Whatever, your age, you must make sure you declare any pre-existing medical condition. This is to ensure you are covered by your policy should anything happen while you are away. If you do need medical assistance while you are away and you have not informed your policyholder of any pre-existing medical conditions they may indeed refuse to compensate you for your expenses.

If you plan on travelling with your pet - which is now easier to do from Gatwick Airport now that pet passports have been introduced. You can now buy pet travel insurance as well to cover your precious cargo while you are away.

The final policy you should be aware of is backpacker or long stay cover for those travelling for a month or more. These policies are great as they will cover your entire trip and help you rest assured, especially if it is your first time travelling. Backpacker cover for travellers often has the option for European, worldwide excluding North America and worldwide including North America. If your plans are uncertain and you plan on going with the flow then it is best to get comprehensive cover for worldwide including North America. You must ensure you get the correct jabs before you go travelling as well to ensure your insurance covers you so ring your GP before you fly to check what vaccinations you need and how far in advance.

Travel insurance is a pain and a boring expense that comes with a holiday but it means you can completely relax on holiday without the fear of anything going wrong and you incurring huge bills. Try to find the best deals but comprehensive covers by comparing travel insurance and book together for families, groups and couples to make sure you get the cheapest deal.

Travel insurance tips

Travel insurance is a complex world of loopholes and insurance jargon that can make it difficult to know what you are buying. It is important you understand your policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not to avoid any unexpected expenses at the end of your trip. Here are a some answers to a few common travel insurance questions you might find of use:

If my flight from Gatwick is cancelled, does my insurance provider or airline reimburse me?

If you find your flight is delayed or cancelled then your first port of call should be your airline before your travel insurance provider. Often, if your flight is cancelled you can can have the choice of the next available flight from the airline or a refund. If you have to cancel your trip entirely due to the flight cancellation then it is your travel insurance provider who would reimburse you for your accommodation and onward travel.

What is the minimum travel insurance insurance I need?

The most important cover you will require is for medical expenses when you are away. In most countries, health care is not free and the bill for any kind of health care can be humongous so make sure your policy covers at least up to £10 million of medical expenses and provides 24 hour emergency assistance. This may seem a lot but in some parts of the world you may actually have to be flown to another part of the country or even a whole other country to get the healthcare you need so the price would just soar.

Does my policy cover motorcycling?

If you plan on doing any type of potentially risky activity on holiday declare it to your insurance provider and get it covered. One activity which has become more popular over the years, especially for backpackers in Asia, is riding motorbikes or scooters. People often underestimate the danger of this activity or assume they would be covered if they have an accident. This is usually not the case, most insurance companies class this as a “risky activity” and will only cover you for any injuries IF you state it to them beforehand. Some also have a clause that means they will only cover you if you hire a vehicle from a licensed provider so only hire any equipment from someone who is authorised to do so.

Does my policy cover natural disasters?

Something you may come across when buying insurance policies is a vague clause called the “Act of God” clause. This is a clause that states it will not cover any holiday expenses that incur due to natural events. However, it is usually very unclear as to what this refers to so always double check exactly what and what would not be covered by this policy, especially if you plan on travelling to somewhere that suffers severe weather such as Florida during tornado season.

Does my policy cover me for ash cloud disruption?

Ash cloud cover can now be added or included in some insurance policies as a result of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in 2010. The event caused an ash cloud to travel around the world and airports, including Gatwick cancelled flights leaving passengers stranded all over the world. There was a lot of controversy as to whether this was classed under the “Act of God” clause or not and for many it was difficult to reclaim any expenses from their insurers. Since then, many insurance have included ash cloud cover in their policies so if you are concerned you should check this.

Does my travel insurance cover my car hire excess?

Your travel insurance does not usually cover car hire insurance. You will usually find there is some cover with your car rental but it is usually worth buying car hire excess insurance, you can find out more on our car hire page.

What happens if my airline goes out of business before I fly?

When purchasing a policy look out for one that covers financial failure of airlines, tour operators and booked excursions as the holiday industry is a delicate business and in recent years there has been some which have gone under due to economic reasons.

Does my bank provide travel insurance?

Some current accounts and credit cards come with a range of benefits including certain travel insurance cover. This is usually not comprehensive cover but would cover your baggage and some health care. This is not offered by all banks to all customers so check your bank account details for your cover and ensure you know exactly what it does and does not cover.

What insurance documents do I need to take on holiday with me?

Always carry a copy of your travel insurance with you and email yourself a copy so you have their details available. You should also save their number for calling outside the UK on your phone so you have it ready for emergencies.

When should I contact my travel insurance to make a claim?

If you require assistance from your travel insurance provider then you must contact them as soon as you require their assistance. For example if your flight is delayed or cancelled, call them to check they are aware of the incident and if they will reimburse your accomodation. It is easier to receive reimbursement if your insurance provider is aware of the situation. If you wait until your return they may say you have left too much time for compensation.

Enjoy your holiday

Once you have done the difficult bit of getting the right cover you can relax - all eventualities should now be covered so have a great trip!