Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, and his primary focus is helping travellers find the right cover for their medical conditions.

Originally posted: 19th Nov 2020

What are travel insurance dos and don’ts?

Getting travel insurance can be a little confusing - there are lots of things to remember and take into account. Sometimes if you don’t enter the right details your insurance could become invalid if you need to make a claim. But don’t worry, that’s why we’ve made this handy list so you can be fully clued up on all things travel insurance before you go ahead and get your holiday cover sorted.

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Travel Insurance - Do’s

  • When taking out travel insurance cover, it’s important when your policy starts. For single trip cover your policy should begin from the date you leave your home, and finish on the date you return to your home. So, if you have to travel to reach an airport, make sure you include this travelling time too! For annual multi trip cover, you should make sure your whole trip falls within your cover dates too.
  • It’s a good idea to get cover as soon as you’ve booked your holiday – so you are protected should the worst happen and you need to cancel before your trip even starts. For single trip policies, cancellation cover will start when you have taken out cover. For annual multi trip policies, cancellation cover will begin from the start date of your policy – so – consider starting these policies before the date of your first trip to be safe
  • Make sure your cancellation cover is enough to cover your whole trip. Cover amounts are usually per person and should be enough to cover your transport, accommodation and – if your policy cover it – any pre-paid excursions and visas
  • Make sure you get a quote for the USA, Canada and the Caribbean before you book your trip. Travel insurance to these destinations can often be more costly, especially for people with pre-existing health conditions.
  • Remember to check the maximum duration per trip when buying annual multi trip policies. You don’t want to get caught out when taking long stay holidays. If the limit isn’t enough, look at getting single trip cover instead. Tell your travel insurance provider, if you’re taking a cruise and make sure your policy includes cover for this Failing to do so could invalidate the policy and leave you with a hefty bill
  • Add your travelling companions to your policy. If you or your pre-existing medical conditions cause any trip complications, they too should be able to claim
  • If you are taking part in any activities such as skiing or snowboarding, make sure you include winter sports cover on your policy to protect you in case you have an accident. 
  • Check the excess limit on the policy you’re thinking of getting. The excess is the amount you have to pay out or have deducted from any claim settlement when making a claim. You need to decide if the amount is affordable to you. 
  • Tell your travel insurance provider if you’re travelling to more than one country, even if you're not stopping long and having a layover. This will ensure you're covered properly for all the areas you intend on visiting. If you are just changing flights and aren’t leaving the airport, there’s no need to add the country you are changing in.
  • Read the pre-existing health information that your travel insurance provider needs and be sure to declare all the relevant medical conditions they need. If there are some questions you aren’t sure about answering, always check with your GP to make sure you’ve given all the right information
  • If you are finding it hard to get annual multi trip cover, then give single trip cover a go instead. Some travel insurance providers will cover you for shorter periods even if they can’t for the whole year.
  • If your health changes after you’ve taken out cover, but before you go, it’s best to contact your travel insurance provider to let them know. This could be if you develop a new condition, your existing condition worsens, or perhaps you are pre-scribed more medication. Your provider will want to have the most recent information before you go away.
  • Make sure you have all your insurance information to hand, including contact information, when you go on holiday – your travel insurance is there to help you whilst you are away
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Travel Insurance - Don’ts

  • Don’t be tempted leave out medical conditions in order to save money. It’s important to declare all your relevant pre-existing medical conditions - failing to do so could result in a claim being refused. 
  • Travel insurance is super important, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions. Medical costs abroad can be very expensive and a simple treatment could mean a bill in the thousands
  • Don’t forget to tell your insurer about any conditions for which you are prescribed precautionary medications for, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and osteoporosis and any medical conditions that you are taking repeat prescriptions for.
  • Don’t forget that insurance providers may need to know if you’ve ever suffered from certain medical conditions – so you might have to tell them about something that you had a long time ago or have made a full recovery from
  • Don’t base your decision to buy travel insurance on price alone but the level of cover the policy offers. Always check the cover offered is enough to fully protect you and your trip. 
  • Don’t make getting travel insurance cover the last thing to do on your pre-holiday list. You may have paid quite a lot of money for your holiday, and will want to protect this expenditure as soon as possible
  • Don’t worry if you have questions and want some help in getting cover. Many sites, including our own, can offer instant online support should you get stuck and need some help
  • Don’t forget to read your important cover information and key terms before you buy a policy – so that you can see exactly what you are and aren’t covered for
  • Don’t forget to check the latest government (FCDO) advice for your destination. If the government are, at the time of your trip, advising against travel to your destination – you won’t be covered.
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Frequently Asked Questions

A pre-existing condition is a diagnosed medical condition that existed before taking out a policy. We'll ask a series of questions about the medical history for you and any travellers on your quote. If you answer yes to any of these, you will need to tell us about the traveller's conditions. This could be a condition that a traveller has now or has had in the past. If you are not sure what conditions you need to declare, we have online support available to help you 24/7!

It is simple and quick to do! After you've told us about your trip details and answered some medical history questions you can add your pre-existing conditions, one by one, for each traveller. You'll only need to enter your details once, it's all online and there's no need to call, or provide details of your conditions in writing.

Once you've declared all of your relevant pre-existing medical conditions, we'll only show you quotes based on the conditions you have told us about.

No, we are unable to provide cover with any of your pre-existing medical conditions excluded.

If you don't travel much then a single trip cover is perfect as you can cover specific dates suited to your trip. If you have cancellation cover, you'll also benefit from this as soon as you buy your policy.

If you travel 2 or more times a year, it may be cheaper for you to go for an annual multi-trip cover. It's best to start your annual trip cover as soon as possible, as if you have cancellation cover, you'll only benefit from this from your policy start date.

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