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Summer travels: top tips to avoid insurance disasters

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As you prepare for your annual summer holiday, make sure you avoid the classic insurance pitfalls.

• If you buy a policy online, save a copy to your phone so you always have it with you.

• Check how the insurer defines ‘valuables’ and cover in transit – are they covered if checked into the hold? Remember you should never check money or expensive items into your checked-in luggage – this will not be covered by your insurance should something be lost or stolen.

• Hang on to your sunglasses – most policies don’t cover them as standard.

• Remember, the British Consulate won’t help if you don’t have travel insurance  – you’ll have to cover your own emergency expenses and this can rack up to hundreds of thousands of pounds. For example, if you require medical transportation home and don’t have insurance, you can’t rely on the government to pay the bill.

• If you are going to Europe – get a free EHIC card to access the same state-provided medical care as a national. These are free to get from the NHS here.

• Always check the policy thoroughly if buying via a comparison site – some policies can be less comprehensive, with higher excess, and you need to make sure that the policy you are considering covers any special situations – like ski trips and/or scuba diving.

• Check if your contents insurance covers any expensive personal items during travel.

• Always report loss and thefts to local police – your insurer will need the crime report number.

• Take a photocopy of your passport and keep it somewhere separate. It also helps to photocopy your passport and travel docs and send them to your email address and a copy to a friend or relative.

• If you have a spare passport photo, pop it in your luggage – super useful if you need to replace documents or apply for a last minute visa application or traveller card.

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