Travel Insurance: What do you need to know?

alto-san-roque-caminowaysThis week we have teamed up with Nick Pound from international travel insurance provider WorldNomads. We asked Nick to answer some important questions before you buy travel insurance for your next walking or cycling holiday on the Camino de Santiago.

What do we need to know when we are buying travel insurance?

Customers need to know what they are covered for when buying travel insurance. No travel insurance policy will cover ‘everything’ so they must read the policy terms and conditions to know exactly what is and isn’t covered.Travel insurance should provide cover for medical expenses should you become seriously ill or injured while travelling and it should also include cover for medical repatriation. Ideally a basic travel insurance policy should also provide cover for theft of valuables, damage to baggage and cancellations or interruptions to travel plans. Of course it’s up to you to read the policy terms and conditions to make sure the cover provided suits your needs.

cycling-walking-the-camino-de-santiago-caminowaysAre there different types of travel insurance for walking tours in Europe available based on the country that you are from?

The cover provided by your policy may vary depending on where you are from, that is, your country of permanent residence. World Nomads policies can provide cover for walking tours but there may be restrictions around the altitude you will be walking at and the terrain you will be walking in.

When I purchase travel insurance do I receive an insurance certificate?

Yes, your insurance certificate will be available to you after you have purchased a policy.

How long does my travel insurance cover me for?

Travel insurance usually provides cover from the date you buy the policy through until the end date listed on the insurance certificate or until you end your trip, whichever happens first. There may be conditions around purchasing a policy after you have already started travelling so read the policy wording for further details.

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What is the difference between once off travel insurance for one trip and travel insurance coverage for a whole year?

The type of travel insurance policies being referred to here are:

  • single trip travel insurance – single trip travel insurance is for one trip only, you cannot have cover for multiple trips within the one policy duration.
  • multi-trip travel insurance – multi-trip travel insurance allows for multiple departures between two specific dates, but you may be restricted by the duration of each trip.

What is the average cost of travel insurance for my next walking or cycling holiday?Vezelay-Way-france-caminoways

The cost of travel insurance will vary based on your destination, where you are from, and the duration of your trip, the number of travellers listed on the policy, the policy type you choose and any options you may add.

If I lose my bags, luggage or bike during my holiday can I claim the cost back?

Firstly, make sure bikes can be covered as a luggage item. There can be exclusions around sporting equipment (and specifically bikes) so make sure read the policy wording to know what is and isn’t covered and if you have any questions, please contact us.

Regarding lost bags or luggage, travel insurance does provide cover if this occurs but only under specific situations. Be sure to read the policy wording to know exactly what specific situations will provide cover for lost luggage and if you have any questions, please contact us.

If my flights are cancelled what do I do in terms of travel insurance?

If your flights are cancelled make sure you have the airline provide a document to you confirming the reason for the cancellation. Minimise any additional costs by cancelling or rearranging other travel arrangements you may have that are affected by the flight cancellation as soon as you can and keep receipts for any additional costs you incur when making these changes). Cover for flight cancellation will depend on the reason for the cancellation but do be aware that not all reasons are covered by your travel insurance. Make sure you read the policy to understand what you are covered for and if you have any questions, please contact us.

If I have an accident while on holidays how do I claim my Doctors expenses?

Firstly, in the Barcelos-Portugal-300x200event of injury relating to an accident, you should contact your insurers’ emergency assistance team as soon as possible (this is where carrying a copy of your certificate of insurance with you is important as the contact details of your insurers’ emergency assistance team are listed. If you are not able to contact them then someone else can. You will need a medical report confirming the treatment you have received and be sure to keep the receipts for any payments for medical expenses you have made. Once you have this information you can then submit this to your insurer as a claim (note that the insurer may require further information, but they will let you know what that is after you have made your initial submission).

Be aware that travel insurance does not cover everything and there may be exclusions depending on how an accident happened so make sure you read the policy wording to understand what you are covered for.

If I need to claim medical expenses from a holiday when should I make a claim? Also, does this time period differ for different countries?

You can start the claims process while you are still travelling or you can wait until after your trip is finished to submit your claim. You may need to submit your claim within a certain time frame after the policy end date otherwise each-Santander-Camino-de-Norte-CaminoWaysthe claim may not be accepted. The policy wording will contain further details about this time frame so make sure you read it to know what the time frame is.

If I need to cancel my trip for a medical reason or bereavement is there something that I can do to get my money back?

There is cover for trip cancellation due to a medical reason or bereavement but only under specific circumstances as listed in the policy wording so make sure you read this to know what you are covered for as well as any conditions, inclusions and exclusions.

The Camino de Santiago covers many routes over long distances in various parts of Spain, Portugal and France. Are any of the tours considered high risk activities?

The risk level of any activity is dependent on many factors, and in the case of cycling and walking, these factors can include the terrain, the altitude that you are cycling or walking in and the actions of the traveller. As long as you are acting responsibly, not exposing yourself to needless risks and being relatively cautious then cover should be available. Cover for a trip, though, is dependent on what is provided by the policy terms and conditions so make sure you read the policy wording regarding to understand what you are covered for and if you have any questions, please contact us.

Santiago-de-Compostela-Cathedral-in-Spain_Splendid-architecture_68851-300x200Are weather, storms, strikes etc. covered by travel insurance or any types of insurance?

This is always a complicated subject for insurance purposes. Cover for weather events, natural disasters and strikes can vary depending on where you are from (your country of permanent residency) so make sure read the policy wording to know what is and isn’t covered.

Are there any tips that you can give to people doing the Camino to help them in case they need to fall back on travel insurance?

You should always ask questions if you are unsure of anything as after all, you need to be confident that you understand how travel insurance works and you need to be happy with the travel insurance you are purchasing.

Thanks to Nick from WorldNomads for giving us a better understanding of travel insurance.

For more tips and advice or to book your travel insurance read our travel tips section. To book your next walking or cycling tour on the Camino de Santiago please contact one of our Travel Specialists.

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