If you're planning a winter sun holiday abroad this year or are already looking ahead to next summer, it's crucial that you have adequate travel insurance so that you're covered for all of your holiday exploits.
Here we look at the ten most common things that could lead to your policy being invalidated...
- Withholding Knowledge Of Medical Conditions - If you have a pre-existing condition (physical or mental), you need to mention this to your provider. This will of course make your insurance more expensive, but if you fail to do so you'll be invalidating your policy, meaning you're paying for useless cover
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption - Most of us like to let our hair down on holiday, and drink more than we normally would, but if your claim is the result of you getting hopelessly drunk, it's likely to be rejected
- Avoidable Medical Conditions - If you travel against doctors orders then your insurance is at risk. The same is also true if you fail to take a prescribed medicine, or if you don't get the relevant immunisation jabs for the region you're travelling to.
- Dangerous Activities - Standard policies won't cover you for certain activities. You'll be surprised to find out that a lot don't even cover relatively 'mild' and common holiday activities such as pony trekking, so make sure you check your policy for activities you're likely to take part in on holiday. If you're doing dangerous or sporting activities, it's likely that you'll need specialist insurance
- 'Reasonable Precautions' - Providers expect you to take 'reasonable precautions' to avoid injury, illness, theft, disease, and any other losses. For example if you're a novice skier injured trying to use an advanced slope then you may be deemed to have not taken reasonable precautions to not get injured.
- Reckless or Illegal Behaviour - Needless to say, if your claim is the result of a reckless (jumping of a balcony etc.) or illegal act, then you'll find it most likely that it will be rejected
- Working without suitable cover - If your trip is for the purpose of working then you'll need to make sure that you have a policy which covers those working activities. This applies regardless of whether it's paid work, or charity work.
- Dangerous Locations - If your trip is to somewhere that the FCO (Foreign Commonwealth Office), or the World Health Organisation has advised against then your cover is at risk. Currently the FCO has issued warnings for Brits travelling to the following locations; Syria, South Sudan, and occupied Palestinian territories, however it's worth checking with your insurer as there may be other potential 'trouble' areas that they currently don't cover.
- Visas and Documents - If you're going somewhere that requires a visa or any other form of special documentation, it's important that you file for these – failure to do so will probably invalidate your policy.
- Loyalty scheme travel - If your trip is the reward of a loyalty scheme you belong to (air miles, timeshares et al.), don't assume that your current insurance has you covered – some providers exclude claims for 'unusable' aspects of the trip (cancelled flights, accommodation etc.), if they have been acquired via a loyalty scheme.