Traveling home this summer? Avoid these insurance mistakes

travel insurance

Many people visiting their expat friends don’t have travel insurance – leaving themselves open to large medical bills if they fall ill.

Many expats use summer holidays to travel home and visit loved ones. Conversely, family members may take the chance to visit their expatriate relatives. According to a survey by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2011, a third of people traveling to see loved ones don’t take out travel insurance.

More than three quarters (77%) said money saving was a factor in not buying coverage. The FCO warned that this is false economy because travelers can face financial problems if they fall ill or lose valuables abroad.

Travel insurance comparison website,, revealed some of the cancellation pitfalls that can trap people when buying travel insurance:

1. Running late – Travel insurance won’t cover you if you oversleep or are running late getting to the airport. You may be protected if the delay is caused by a traffic accident or is the fault of the airline.

2. Change of mind – Insurance policies don’t cover you if you decide to cancel your trip due to fear of potential problems such as disease outbreaks or bad weather on a beach holiday.

3. Civil unrest – In countries known for civil unrest, travelers should be careful as most policies don’t cover cancellation due to war or civil unrest. Travelers who are concerned about civil unrest should check for non-medical evacuation, this provides compensation for movement from a dangerous to a safe area.

If you might need to cancel your trip due to particular reason, it is recommended you purchase Cancel for Any Reason coverage. Be aware that “Cancel for Any Reason” and “Cancel at Any Time” clauses are different.

Cancel for Any Reason means you can cancel your trip due to work, death of a pet, civil unrest etc. This must be done 2 days before your departure date. Cance at Any Time lets you cancel your trip whenever you want but has restrictions on the reasons you can cancel for.

Further mistakes people make with travel insurance are:

4. Buying at the last minute – Travel insurance should be bought when you book the trip. Insurance covers you against unforeseen events. If you buy travel insurance after the fact, you won’t be covered for medical treatment or loss of valuables.

5. Not seeing a doctor – Many people try to cancel their trip due to ill health but fail to see a doctor first. You must see a doctor and get written advice against traveling before you cancel.