Thousands of schools are closed today and are expected to remain closed for the rest of the week as the Beast from the East continues to spread across the UK. With all this cold weather so close to spring it’s no wonder families are looking to book their holiday in the sun sooner rather than later.

For those who are looking to book their family holiday away, make sure you buy a travel insurance policy that is suitable for your needs shortly after paying the holiday deposit. There is no point leaving it until the last minute because if anything was to happen and you had to cancel your trip – you wouldn’t be covered!

So, with so many travel insurance policies on the market, what should you be looking for?

When it comes to travel insurance, a bit like booking a holiday, there is no ‘one size fits all’ but we have put together the main things you should be looking for to make sure you are covered for everything you expect.

  1. Look for a travel insurance policy that offers ‘cancellation for any cause beyond your reasonable control’. Most policies will offer cover for cancellation but the reasons why you can cancel will be limited (you can read more about this here). Cancellation for any cause will mean, should you not be able to make your flight due to the snow for example, you will be covered to claim back the amount you have lost due to not being able to get to your holiday destination, for example accommodation, car hire etc.
  2. If you are booking excursions, event or theme park tickets look for a policy that will provide cover for the cost if you are not able to make your trip or the event. Make sure the cover limit is suitable to cover the cost of the tickets. This cover is available for pre-paid tickets and excursions that are not refundable from anywhere else.
  3. Many families are likely to be taking gadgets abroad with them… if this is you, be aware that not all travel insurance policies will cover these as standard, some will ask for you to pay an additional premium for a ‘gadget extension’. It is worth reading the policy wording carefully for gadget cover as the level of cover will differ between insurers. Also check the single item limit – most policies will limit the claim to 500 pounds per item which isn’t enough to cover the latest smart phone! For more information on gadget restrictions and keeping them safe abroad click here.
  4. Depending on how far you are planning to travel, you may need to catch a connecting flight. If your outbound journey is delayed and you miss your connecting flight it is the travel company’s responsibility to arrange alternative transport – provided you have booked both parts of the journey with the same company. If you booked your outbound flight and connecting flight with different companies, you could find yourself having to pay out for another flight if your outbound journey is delayed. Connecting flight cover under travel insurance will reimburse the cost of this, as long as you checked in on time and did everything you could to make the flight – this type of cover is usually not included on a policy as standard so make sure you look for a policy that either has this cover or offers it as an extension.
  5. Whilst we do everything we can to keep our passports safe abroad, if it was to be lost or stolen when on holiday the cost of a replacement document can soon mount up – especially when you take into account the journey to the embassy, an alternative flight if you miss your return home and additional accommodation. There are a few travel insurance policies that will offer cover for a replacement travel document as well as any associated, necessary, expenses so it is worth looking for this cover just in case!

Now, you may be thinking all this extra cover is going to cost you a small fortune however the travel insurance policies that offer this cover are only a few pounds more compared to those that don’t (just think of it as the price of a couple of glossy magazines and a sandwich at the airport). It will be money well spent should the worst happen and you find yourself needing to rely on your travel insurance.