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The pitfalls of travel insurance: don’t be caught out.
We all know that drinking too much is bad for us, but relaxing over a few glasses of wine is what holidays are all about. But if you’re unlucky enough to have an accident after a few drinks, your claim may be invalidated because of a standard alcohol exclusion clause, reports the Daily Telegraph. So you may not only be in plaster, but also find your treatment may not be reimbursed just because you’ve shared a bottle of wine over dinner with friends.
This is just one of the unexpected reasons insurance companies won’t pay out: there are others. We expect high-risk activity exclusions such as skydiving, but relatively harmless sports such as some types of mountain trekking, cycle touring and whitewater rafting may not be covered, and not wearing a helmet for riding or if you hire a moped can also invalidate a claim.
Most insurance policies don’t cover erupting Icelandic volcanoes, acts of terrorism or strikes. But less obvious is lack of cover if your travel company goes bust or if you don’t use the hotel safe for jewellery or if valuables are stolen from checked-in hold baggage. You also need to check the foreign office website (www.fco.gov.uk) for ‘dangerous areas’ as some parts of major holiday destinations like Thailand, India and Sri Lanka are on the list, so your policy is unlikely to cover you there.
Finally, single parents beware. 28 per cent of family policies do not cover children travelling with a parent if the parents are separated and the children normally live with the other spouse. And families also need to remember that the policy excess, often £50, deducted from the claim, applies to each member and each relevant section. If a family of four all have their bags stolen, the excess will be £200. If violence was involved and medical treatment needed, a further £50 per person is deducted.
To make sure you have the right cover this summer, read the small print! Remember you’ll need evidence to support a claim, so if your bag is stolen, get a police report and if the airline loses your baggage, you’ll need written proof too. And if you have to claim, make sure you do the paperwork correctly. Apparently, this is the most common reason why claims initially fail!