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Travel insurance – timing is everything

Are the cold winter days making you long for a bit of sun, or are the ski slopes more your thing? Whatever you decide on, once you have booked your holiday destination, the next thing you should turn your attention to is your travel insurance.

Often people leave arranging cover until just before they go, however by doing this they are missing out on a vital part of the cover.

As well as providing cover for the time you are away, travel insurance provides protection from the time it is arranged and will cater for many unexpected events that may occur on the run up to your holiday, such as an unexpected medical diagnosis – so the timing is important.

So, what exactly does Travel Insurance cover and what, in particular should you be looking for? Cox Mahon can help you with your Holiday Insurance Checklist.

Here is some guidance on what you should expect from your Travel policy, and some important points to be aware of:

  • Cancellation – It is vital that you are covered in case you have to cancel your holiday, make sure that the policy covers both yourself and your travel companions.
  • Medical Expenses – Hospital and doctors bills can be costly especially in North America. If you travel within the EU, you should get a UK Global Health Insurance card (GHIC*) which will entitle you to reciprocal health service care in the countries you visit. Be aware that few EU countries will pay for the full cost of treatment, and it is important that you also have your own travel insurance in place to ensure you are fully protected.
  • Pre-Existing Medical Conditions – Always be sure that you answer the medical declaration accurately and declare any pre-existing medical conditions. Some insurers will ask if you have been seen by a doctor in the previous 12 months.  Covid is also a declarable condition for many travel insurers.
  • Personal Accident Cover – This will pay out in the event of death or permanent disablement on holiday.
  • Personal Liability – This will provide cover should you cause injury to someone or damage their property which results in a claim against you.
  • Legal Expenses – To pay your legal costs if you decide a third party for damages as a result of personal injury or death.
  • Personal Belongings – Your insurance should cover your personal belongings and money against lost or damage. You should however take reasonable precautions to look after your possessions.
  • Delays and Missed Departure – Most policies will provide compensation if your luggage is delayed for more than 12 hours, or if delays cause disruption to your travel.
  • Single Trip or Annual Cover – If you are fortunate enough to be planning several holidays during the year, you may find it more economic to arrange an annual policy.
  • Extended Stays or Back-packers – Should you be planning to go travelling or to stay longer than the norm, a standard travel policy may not be appropriate – be aware of time limits and look for a policy which will cater for a longer stay.  Also check your household insurance policy to see if you need to inform them if your home is to be empty for more than 30 days.
  • Hazardous Pursuits – Many holidays offer the opportunity to enjoy a range of action pursuits.  Activities such as bungee jumping and parascending are not generally covered as standard. Always check the activities covered, an extension to the policy may be required.  If skiing, a winter sports extension will be a must!

*If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. Applying for healthcare cover abroad (GHIC and EHIC) – NHS (

Remember the importance of understanding the precise coverage required before selecting a policy. We urged potential policyholders to scrutinise policies for crucial elements such as emergency medical expenses, trip cancellation or interruption, lost baggage, and personal liability coverage.

Furthermore, we also recommend considering policies that provide additional coverage for specific needs, such as pre-existing medical conditions, extreme sports or activities, and natural disasters. We emphasise that explaining policy clauses is vital to avoid unpleasant surprises.

In conclusion, selecting the right specialist insurance broker and policy for your travel insurance is a decision that requires careful consideration in today’s dynamic travel landscape. By partnering with Cox Mahon as we specialise in travel insurance, individuals can safeguard their well-being and finances during their trips, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

Remember, your travel insurance is not a mere formality; it is your safety net and a shield against the unexpected. Choose wisely!

Cox Mahon is a leading specialist insurance broker with extensive experience in providing tailored insurance solutions for travel, fine art and valuables, property, and several other areas. Focused on serving clients’ best interests, we offer expert advice and comprehensive coverage options to ensure peace of mind and financial protection.

Harrison Law, Cert CII, Head of Commercial & Private Clients, Cox Mahon