By Tim Riley, Managing Director at True Traveller
During the pandemic, the subject of travel insurance has been brought to the forefront because people have had to ensure they are fully protected and therefore entitled to receive refunds or reschedule their holidays due to ever-changing travel restrictions.
The UK Government’s latest announcement around easing testing requirements, introducing a new simplified system for international travel and replacing the current approach with one single red list will give people more confidence to travel which is great news. However, the current situation is still unpredictable, and while case numbers are remaining relatively stable due to a successful vaccine rollout in most parts of the world, it is vital for travellers who are booking trips for the remainder of 2021 and 2022 to take out travel insurance and be aware of what’s included.
There are many benefits to taking out travel insurance:
Added COVID-protection that might not be covered by your holiday company
Travel Insurance is always the last port of call for claims, as essentially it keeps claims costs lower, and therefore premiums lower. While many holiday companies are offering flexible booking policies / trips that are fully refundable, often this is to provide cover if there are changes to travel regulations. One of the main benefits for taking out travel insurance currently is to provide cover for cancellation in case a customer or someone they are travelling with contracts COVID-19 pre-departure and can no longer travel, or if they contract the virus during their trip meaning they require medical care.
Medical expenses and emergency assistance beyond the GHIC
The UK introduced the GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) in January 2021 to replace the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) which is being phased out due to Brexit. While both cards offer Brits travelling to the EU access to the same medical care that locals in these countries are entitled to, it is essential that people do not just rely on this to cover them. Travel insurance is a necessity in case state-run medical care is limited in certain countries which means travellers will be required to pay for their repatriation or meet overseas private hospital fees.
Personal accident and activity cover
Another benefit of taking out travel insurance is to provide cover against personal accidents and adventurous activities. The latter is particularly topical as after nearly two years of lockdown, travellers are eager to release their inner adventurers and are now seeking out adrenalin-fuelled experiences. The latest news that the US opening up to fully vaccinated British travellers is important as there are now greater opportunities for Brits to explore their adventurous sides outside of Europe. True Traveller covers 92 activities in all of its standard policies and can provide add on packages for more hardcore adventures if required. This is ideal for gap year travellers – a key market for us – whose travels were put on hold last year.
Cover for personal possessions and luggage
It is necessary to take out travel insurance for any trip, UK or abroad, to cover for personal possessions and luggage. Travellers can choose the amount they require cover for according to the value of their possessions so this can easily be tailored before they travel.
While this may be one of the rarer reasons to make a claim whilst on holiday, travel insurance provides cover for legal expenses in case a customer is injured by someone whilst on holiday or if they accidentally injure another person. It is not something people tend to consider to be a requirement when travelling but it provides an added level of protection and could be invaluable if needed.
Flexibility to provide last-minute cover and policy extensions
My advice to people is to purchase travel insurance as soon as they’ve made a financial commitment towards their trip, particularly during COVID-times to ensure they are covered for cancellation in case they contract the virus before they depart. However, we do understand that sometimes, travel insurance is the last thing people think about and this is why, at True Traveller, we offer cover for people who are already travelling. With all the changes and confusion related to travel in the past two years, people are becoming more aware of the importance of travel insurance. Also with the rise of the ‘workation’, we’ve also seen a rise in people extending their policies which is where this benefit that we offer also comes into play.
As the industry is started to recover slowly and as many countries become more accessible, it is our responsibility as leaders in the travel sector to reassure people and give them the confidence they need to travel again. Purchasing travel insurance before or during your trip, understanding clearly what is included and what cover you are getting is a first step and takes away some of the anxiety around travelling in the current climate.
For further information about True Traveller, please visit: https://www.truetraveller.com/