World travel is set to grow by 3 to 5% this year and nearly half of us will be researching and booking our trips online, according to the ITB World Travel Trends Report for 2010/2011. While short haul travel to European destinations is down, long haul travel is up by 5%. At the same time as they are becoming more adventurous, people have been cutting back on their spending by 3%.
The online travel shopper’s economy drive inevitably extends to their choice of travel insurance, but this is one area where cheapest is not always the best deal. This is especially true for people wanting to try out new sports and activities.
Peter Dingle of Europ Assistance advises, “Check the policy document before making a decision on all-important travel insurance. Take time to download and view the full policy document before you buy.”
Key questions to ask are:
Do I want single, multi-trip or long stay cover?
One in eight of us now opt for annual multi-trip cover these days, as it usually works out to be less expensive in the long run. Be sure to understand the difference between multi-trip and long stay cover. Multi-trip cover is usually limited to trips of three months or less, so this cover will not work if you plan to live abroad or take a whole gap year. It may be a requirement of cover that a return passage has been booked.
Does the medical cover match my needs?
Medical cover is the most important aspect of your travel cover. Increasingly, policies can cover pre-existing medical conditions but it is your responsibility to check. A bold statement that, say, over 200 conditions are covered does not mean that yours is. For instance, some conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are only covered if your level of medication is within limits. If not, you can often arrange extended cover, but you must speak to the insurer and arrange this before you go. It is always best to check.