Whether travelling for business or a holiday, travel insurance is there to guard against unexpected events such as illness or transport problems. A good policy should at least pay for any medical treatment you need whilst abroad, and get you back home if necessary. All travel policies have exclusions for problems with causes rooted in such risks as dangerous sports, natural disasters, terrorism etc so it is important to check these carefully before buying a policy.
The Post Office is publicly owned and has over 11,500 branches in Britain and you can buy your travel insurance from many of them, or online. They can provide single trip policies for anything up to a whole year, multitrip ones (usually with a maximum stay of 17 or 31 days, although extensions are possible) and backpack cover for those between 18 and 60 planning a gap year or world travel. Subject to conditions personal liability and legal cost protection can be covered, as well as baggage, cancellation, death benefit, theft, and personal accident. There are three levels of cover to choose from, which offer some additional benefits and increased payouts. They will cover most pre-existing medical conditions but it will be necessary to let them know of any issues so that they can look into it and advise whether or not they can cover the applicant, or whether or not a premium increase will be necessary. For an additional premium terrorism, natural catastrophe, gadgets such as smartphones or laptops, and disrupted travel can be included in the policy. Some sports can be covered, some are covered with an extra premium but may leave the insured ineligible for personal accident or personable liability claims, and some cannot be covered at all.
Staysure is a trading name of Ticorp Limited which is a Gibraltar registered company. They are part of the Staysure group which includes Avanti travel insurance and Payingtoomuch.com. Their policies are underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, which is a German insurance company and a subsidiary of the Munich RE Group, which was founded in 1880 and is claimed to be one of the world's major reinsurers. Staysure travel insurance has no upper age limit, pre-existing medical conditions can be covered (subject to screening), and more than 80 sports are accepted. They have a basic policy covering medical emergencies and transport home; cancellation; baggage claims; and cash lost or stolen. Their higher priced comprehensive policy offers higher payouts, as well as cover for personal liability, legal assistance and end supplier failure. There is a limit on how long trips can last, but this can be extended for an extra premium for those who are under 70 and have bought a comprehensive policy.
LV= is said to be one of Britain's biggest insurers, with over 5,500 employees and more than five million policies in force. It was founded in 1843 as the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited and started trading as LV= for some reason in 2007. Their General Insurance division is now owned by German financial services giant Allianz. The LV travel insurance policy offers single trip cover of up to 366 days for those under 65; this goes down to 90 days for 65 to 79 year olds and 31 days for the over 80s. Multitrip policies can be bought covering trips for up to 90 days and a group of up to ten people can book together and receive a discount. Cruise cover is included on multitrip policies but can be added to single trips if needed. Pre-existing medical conditions must be declared as usual. They have a standard policy named 'Essential' which covers emergency medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, and cancellations due to illness. the maximum length of the trip for those taking this option is 31 days. Their Premier policy also includes cover for cancellation after delays, additional accommodation and transport costs that these may cause, airport delays, and bankruptcy of the travel provider. The maximum length of the trip is 90 days. Baggage cover is an optional extra, as is cover for winter sports and certain other more hazardous activities.
World Nomads is based in Australia and it was set up in 2002 to provide travel insurance for the more adventurous traveller. Policies bought by UK residents are provided by XL Catlin Insurance Company UK Limited which is owned by insurance company AXA XL, an Americn subsidiary of international insurance and reinsurance giant AXA. World Nomads differs from most other travel insurance companies in that their customers can buy their policies whilst they are actually abroad, and extend them too. This benefit is designed to appeal to those people to whom travel is more of a lifestyle or long term choice than something to take up for one or two weeks a year. A very large number of sporting activities are automatically covered by the policy and there are others which can be included for an extra premium. They will accept many people with pre-existing medical conditions but will not pay out for any claims that are caused by those conditions. There is what they call a Standard plan and an Explorer plan; both offer cover (with different maximum payouts) for trip cancellation, emergency medical treatment, emergency transport to a hospital, and lost, damaged or stolen belongings. they have a 24/7/365 emergency helpline to help with medical or evacuation problems, and this is normally manned by multilingual teams.
Allclear is a travel insurance company which specialises in covering those with pre-existing medical conditions, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. they will cover, subject to conditions, travellers of any age for personal liability, emergency medical treatment, repatriation, personal belongings and certain legal costs. There are three levels of cover; Gold, Gold Plus and Platinum; these all provide the same standard cover but with difference maximum payouts. many of their clients take cruise holidays and these can have extra benefits which include cover against cabin confinement, unused excursions owing to illness, and missed port departures. They can also offer compensation if the cruise ship cannot visit ports on the itinerary owing to bad weather conditions or other adverse factors. Allclear will not necessarily ask for medical certificates, but it is mandatory that they are told about any existing conditions, since they cannot provide cover for claims that are caused by any that they were not informed of. Cancellation insurance is an optional extra and they recommend that all family that accompany those with medical issues are insured under the same policy, since that way they will be covered if it is necessary for one member to cancel the trip, or cut it short, because of medical reasons.
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