Travel insurers are overhauling policies in the face of a range of new risks including…
Terrorism, the weaker pound, bans on laptops in cabins and the refusal of some countries’ hospitals to treat Britons. One result is that comprehensive travel cover is costing more. But another growing risk is that policies are written with more – and bigger – exclusions. Surprises could come thick and fast through the summer with Canada and the US poised to add flights from Britain to its “no laptops in cabin” rule . Many policies won’t cover laptops if they’re checked into the hold, so crucial cover for millions of travelers is lost at a stroke.
Another danger area concerns potential acrimony with European countries over reciprocal health arrangements. Some Spanish hospitals are already turning away British patients. Will your insurer pay for medical treatment, lost baggage, or disrupted holidays if you are caught up in a terrorism incident? If your laptop is damaged in the hold, will you get a new one? Can you claim if your airline goes bust (as did Alitalia, earlier this month – for the second time)? There is more variance in the answers to these questions than ever before, insurance brokers warn.
“People go onto a comparison website and buy the cheapest policy they can find. This will almost certainly not pay out on terrorism, bankruptcy, damage in aircraft holds or a range of other issues. They need to look carefully at the small print.” Travel insurance can cost a few dollars, but medical bills can run into the hundreds of thousands.” For example, “The longer until departure, the greater the risk of cancellation. But medical cover is the most important aspect, so insurers take the health of everyone travelling into consideration, not just those with medical conditions.”
“Some countries are hungry for hospital fees so over treatment is more of a risk. The insurers know which countries they are and rate accordingly.” Policy small print is increasingly likely to be enforced by insurers, even where it is little understood by consumers. Consumer experts warn of exclusions are being increasingly enforced, despite being poorly explained by insurers and widely misunderstood by those buying the policies.
Article credit: The Telegraph
Photo credit: Aviation Week