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Travel insurance is a holiday essential. But there are certain things to be aware of to make sure you avoid the risk of accidentally invalidating your policy while you're away. Here’s how to avoid common travel insurance mistakes and get the policy that’s perfect for your travel plans. 

When it comes to planning a holiday, travel insurance isn’t something most holiday-lovers tend to spend long thinking about. It might be wise to buck the trend. Not all policies are created equal - and there are some small but important things to be aware of to make sure you have a policy that gives you effective cover throughout the entire duration of your getaway.

>> Do I need travel insurance? You asked, here’s the answer.

Go easy on the alcohol (and avoid drugs)

For lots of people, indulging in a few tipples is all part of a relaxing holiday. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s important not to overdo it. It’s likely that your travel insurance won’t pay out for any accidents that occur while you’re drunk - such as slipping by the pool and spraining your wrist, for example.

Different travel insurers have different approaches - mainly based on your blood-alcohol level. Insure with World First and you should be safe to have around three-four pints, but no matter who you insure with it’s very important to check the exclusions section of your policy wording.

For obvious reasons, drugs are a serious no-no - unless they have been prescribed by a doctor for the treatment of a medical condition that’s known to your insurer.

>> Taking your meds on holiday? How to avoid trouble abroad.

Make sure you’re covered for activities

It’s good to be spontaneous. But you may want to pause for thought before a spur-of-the-moment skydive or last-minute langlauf jaunt. Because it’s likely that you won’t be covered by your travel insurance policy if something unexpected happens. It’s best to let your insurer know about any activities you plan to take part in.

Here at World First our policies automatically include free cover for dozens of sports and activities - including banana boating, bungee jumping, golf, cycling and horse riding. For a small fee we can cover hundreds of other activities - including some seriously specialist stuff. If you can think of it, there’s a good chance we can cover it. And because we love spontaneity as much as anyone else, you can even add cover for specific activities to your policy during your holiday. Just give us a call.

Tell your insurer about your medical conditions

Medical conditions are a fact of life. Some travel insurers are better than others at covering them. But it’s essential that you declare your conditions to your insurer. Failure to do so could invalidate your entire policy. Yikes. Even if your condition is minor or hasn’t progressed for many years or is controlled easily with simple medication, you absolutely must tell your insurer about it. The risk of invalidating your policy is just too great.

At World First we are specialists in medical travel insurance and can cover thousands of conditions. That includes conditions that can be hard to get cover for elsewhere - such as heart disease, HIV and cancer. Best of all we believe in giving our customers the comprehensive cover they need for peace of mind - at a price that’s fair. After all, travel is one of the best medicines of all.

>> Why EVERYONE (even you) needs medical cover in their travel insurance

Check whether your policy covers gadgets

Whether it’s a smartphone, a tablet or an e-reader, more and more people are choosing to take their gadgets and gizmos on holiday. And why not? But let’s just take a moment to remember that most gadgets tend to be expensive. Would your policy cover the cost of replacing one of your gadgets if it was lost, stolen or damaged on holiday? It’s worth checking. With World First you can add £1,000 worth of gadget cover to your policy for a small fee.

Make sure your policy limits are suitable

When it comes to comparing travel insurance policies, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest option available. But it’s worth checking what it actually covers you for. Once you get in to the nitty-gritty, you may find that it only covers a small portion of the total cost of your holiday. For example, if your accommodation costs a total of £1,500, you may want to think twice about a travel insurance policy that has a maximum claim of £500 for trip cancellation.

Here at World First we give you the freedom to choose from a number of different policies. Simply choose the cover limits that best suit you and your holiday plans. Simple.

What about the excess?

Policy excesses are something that tend to slip beneath the radar - until you have to make a claim and find out you will be paying £250 for the privilege. At World First most claims carry an excess of just £50. And for a small addition to your premium you can waive the excess altogether, which means you won’t lose a penny if you have to make a claim.

Have fun, but stay savvy...

Travel insurance is essential for protecting yourself - and your finances - from the unexpected. But having a policy doesn’t immediately give you carte blanche to act recklessly. Be honest and upfront with your insurer about your medical conditions and any activities you plan to enjoy while you're abroad. Check whether the policy limits actually cover the cost of your accommodation, your flights and your possessions. And behave as thoughtfully as you would if you had no cover at all. It’s the best way to help make sure your insurer pays out if something goes wrong and you need to make a claim.

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