The cost of medical treatment abroad can stem anywhere from a few hundred pounds to a few hundred thousand pounds depending on the country you are travelling to and the injury or illness you have sustained.

Usually, with a suitable travel insurance policy, the cost of medical treatment abroad would be covered. But, what happens when your travel insurance isn’t suitable?

More often than we would like to see, people who have needed medical treatment abroad are having to set up fundraising pages or pay the bills themselves due to their claim being denied. This is usually due to the travel insurance not being suitable for their individual needs i.e. no cover for risky activities, not declaring existing medical conditions, no cover for cruises, wrong geographical area, etc.

With a 28+ page document to read it’s no wonder people get confused about what to look for. Therefore, here at Travel Insurance Explained we are dedicated to educating consumers and breaking down the jargon so when people need to make a claim, they will be covered.

To prevent you from becoming stranded abroad this summer, we have put together five simple steps to making sure you buy the right travel insurance policy for your individual needs.

  1. Do you have any existing medical conditions, or do you take any medication? If so, this will need to be declared to your travel insurer. Generally speaking, you will be asked if you have ever had any of the following five conditions; cancer, heart condition, breathing condition, diabetes or a stroke. You will then be asked if you have been treated by a doctor for anything in the last two years. If you are completing the medical declaration section online and are unsure, it is best to call the travel insurance provider so they can advise what needs to be declared on the policy. Not declaring medical conditions, even accidentally, could mean that your claim is denied, and the travel insurer will not cover the cost of any medical expenses.
  2. Activities, cruises and wintersports holidays. Believe it or not most travel insurance policies will not cover a cruise or a wintersports holiday as standard. Instead they will ask you to add this to the policy for an additional premium. There are some specialist policies out there so it may be worth looking for one of these. On top of this, most travel insurers will only offer to cover a select amount of activities under the policy. Anything that is deemed risky i.e. paragliding and jet skiing may require an additional premium to paid. Some policies will cover more than others, so if you are an adrenaline junkie or are looking to tick a few activities off the bucket list make sure you check the cover.
  3. What type of trip are you going on; is this just a few weeks away, a year or do you plan on travelling several times throughout the year? Making sure you buy the right type of travel insurance policy is important. If you are going on a one-off trip then a single trip travel insurance policy will be perfect. Those travelling for a month or more should look at a Long Stay travel insurance policy as these will work out more cost effective and allow for return trips home. Multi-trip travel insurance policies are ideal if you have more than one trip planned throughout the year but be sure to check the trip duration as most will only cover for 31 days per trip.
  4. You may think you know where a country is, but travel insurers will have their own geographical ratings. These are usually broken down to UK, Europe incl. Spain, Europe excl. Spain, Worldwide incl. USA, Caribbean and Canada and Worldwide excl. USA, Caribbean and Canada. If you are unsure, check with the travel insurer. It is also worth noting, some travel insures may also have an option to select Mexico so look out for this when buying your policy.
  5. What about additional extra like gadget cover, force majeure cover or missed connecting flight cover. When planning your trip make a note of all the additional things you are likely to be doing and when it comes to buying your travel insurance check them off against the policy to ensure it is suitable for you and the country you are travelling to.