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Holiday

Should you get travel insurance?

In the excitement of planning a holiday, the last thing you want to think about is something going wrong. But having insurance for your overseas (or UK) trip can help protect you if it does. 

There are main 5 reasons why people take travel insurance:

  1. Your trip gets cancelled before you set off
  2. You are delayed
  3. You fall ill or get hurt
  4. Your belongings are lost or stolen
  5. You need legal advice

1. Your trip gets cancelled before you even set off

It’s a good idea to buy travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked, so you’re covered from the point of purchase onwards. Because travel insurance doesn't just cover you while you're away. It can also cover you for things that might go wrong before you travel, such as:

  • finding out your travel company’s gone out of business
  • being made redundant
  • getting ill or injured
  • experiencing a death in the family 

Given that it’s a known event, you may struggle to find cover right now for cancellations due to coronavirus. For details of the coronavirus cover offered with HSBC policies, see our coronavirus travel guidance.

2. You are delayed

Even when you’re on your way to the airport, it’s not uncommon for a storm to wreak havoc with your plans. Delay cover can be a useful feature of travel insurance. 

Many policies will also cover missed connections, industrial action and mechanical breakdown. Just make sure you check your policy to see what type of delay and disruption cover is included.

3. You fall ill or get hurt

This is possibly the most valuable feature of any travel insurance policy. Thanks to the NHS, many of us don’t think about the costs of health care. But a medical emergency in another country can be very expensive. 

According to the Association of British Insurers, the average claim for medical expenses is around £1,300. But many medical bills cost much more than this. For example, the cost of surgery following a moped accident in Greece and being taken back to the UK could be upwards of £25,000.1

And if you're planning on travelling to the Europe Economic Area or Switzerland after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020, remember that your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC or formerly E111) may no longer be valid. Without access to state-provided emergency healthcare in the EU, medical cover will become even more important. 

Yet with the right travel protection, you can enjoy things like water sports or horse riding knowing that you’d be covered if something goes wrong. 

Make sure you check what activities your travel insurance covers as not all are included as standard. Some insurers will allow you to add cover for things like winter sports, or extreme sports, but you may need to shop around.

4. Your belongings get lost, or stolen

Having your suitcase go missing or your phone, cash or travel documents stolen can have a massive impact on your trip. With the right travel insurance, you'll have the peace of mind of knowing your belongings are covered. 

Before buying a policy, check whether it covers all your gadgets and other important possessions. While some may be included as standard, others – such as your clubs if you’re going on a golf trip – may be optional extras. Also check what's covered under your home insurance policy if you have one.

5. You need legal advice

Hopefully, you won't have any trouble with the law while you're away. But if you do, travel insurance can provide legal cover and advice to assist you. This could be particularly relevant if you’re travelling to a country without a legal aid system. 

Remember, you may already have legal cover as part of your home or car insurance policy – although you’d need to check if it covers you outside the UK.

Are you thinking about buying travel insurance?

The first thing to check is that you’re not already covered – perhaps with your bank account.

If not, and you’re planning 2 or more trips within a 12-month period, annual or ‘multi-trip cover’ is usually cheaper. Naturally, this will depend on where you're travelling and for how long so it pays to compare annual cover against the cost buying a policy for each trip.

Aside from cost, the other good thing about buying an annual policy is convenience. Because if you end up taking a third trip within the course of a year, you’ll already be covered.

At HSBC, we offer travel insurance in several different ways. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve temporarily withdrawn single and multi-trip travel insurance policies to new customers. However, we’re still offering Worldwide Travel Insurance as one of the options in our multi-cover policy, Select and Cover

So if you’re looking for travel insurance alongside 2 other types of cover – such as mobile phone insurance, gadget insurance or motor breakdown insurance – Select and Cover could make a lot of sense. 

For details of the travel cover offered through HSBC policies, see our coronavirus travel guidance. And be sure to read policy documents carefully before buying anything to make sure you’re comfortable with what’s covered and what’s not.

Select and Cover is available for HSBC UK customers who are registered for online banking. It covers you, your spouse, domestic or civil partner and any dependent children living with you who are under 18 – or under 23 if they’re in full-time education and living at home during the holidays. The Worldwide Travel option provides cover up to the age of 70 and is provided by Aviva Insurance Limited.

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