Mention the word 'insurance' and people generally don't get excited. But we all understand the importance of travel insurance. But is travel insurance worth the cost? In a nut shell, yes. Even more so if you are concerned about medical expenses, stolen goods, natural disasters (yes they do happen) and travel delays whilst on holiday. The ability to research and pay, usually a small amount, to avoid a potential large debt is the very foundation of smart travelling. Yet with so many travel insurance packages to choose from, where do you get started? To help you get started, here are my top tips to ensure you choose the best policy for you:

READ CAREFULLY Reading pages of fine print in any insurance policy can be tedious and super boring. But when it comes to claiming on the policy and discovering you’re not quite as covered as you thought you were, you definitely won’t be bored. You’ll be stressed and frustrated. Put some time aside and read the entire policy before signing up; travel insurance policies are notorious for their endless exclusions (aka excuses) and loopholes.

CHECK EXCLUSIONS Always, and I mean always, check exclusions in a travel policy. These exclusions listed below all sound highly unlikely, but be aware - they can happen! Make sure you choose a policy with the least exclusions and pay attention to those that are included in the policy. The most common to look out for are severe weather conditions or natural disaster, acts of god, acts of war, terrorism, uprising or civil commotion and a travel provider going out of business.

INVEST IN REIMBURSEMENT In the off chance you cancel your trip or come home early because a family member or travelling companion becomes ill, or you find yourself unexpectedly laid off, make sure your policy covers you for reimbursement. You also don't want to continue paying for travel insurance if you no longer need it.

CREDIT CHECK If you use a credit card on your travels you might be covered for baggage loss, rental car damage, trip interruption or cancellation, evacuations and personal injury. Ring your credit card provider and find out what your covered for.

PACKAGE POLICIES Many travel operators provide travel insurance, however you need to do your homework. Be sure if you are purchasing travel insurance through an operator that it comes from a reputable company such as Travelex.

COMPARE AND CHOOSE I like taking holiday planning into my own hands as researching is part of the excitement for me. There are many websites which allow you to compare and choose a policy which suits your needs; you will need adifferent policy if you are going on a ski weekender as opposed to a weekender in Paris. Some websites which can help you make the right decision are Quote Wright, Insure My Trip and Square Mouth.

CHOOSE QUICKLY As soon as you book your flight or accommodation, secure travel insurance. This will ensure you are covered from that date in the lead up to your weekender from incidents such as bad weather and will also cover pre-existing health conditions.

KEEP RECEIPTS Most insurance providers will cover you for stuff you own but don’t have receipts for any more. However be aware that many travel insurers will knock back any claims if you cannot produce an original receipt. My best advice is if you’re planning on taking anything of value or something expensive on your weekender, like an SLR camera or a laptop, make sure you have the original receipt.


BOOK TRAVEL INSURANCE THROUGH MISTER WEEKENDER! Wherever you travel abroad, you must have travel insurance. I cannot stress how important it is. If you are looking to buy travel insurance, my best advice is to go annual. With this in mind, I'm partnering with Southern Cross Travel Insurance who are giving readers of Mister Weekender an exclusive 10% off their travel insurance. What a score! All you need to do is enter this code at check-out:


The exclusive code is valid between now and the end of December - perfect for the upcoming holiday season!


This post is in collaboration with SCTI, my preferred travel insurance provider which I personally use and trust.

TipsJaharn GilesComment