Most travellers realise the importance of purchasing travel insurance before they go away, but so few manage to weigh up all of the options and get a comprehensive policy. As a recent Travel Supermarket article explains, the cheaper policies can often be full of loopholes and fine print that can invalidate your claim - so, it's important to bear in mind the following exclusions...
Whilst it can be tempting not to mention pre-existing medical conditions to your insurer - particularly if you haven't suffered from it for a long time - you should always be honest about your medical history. If something were to happen, your insurer can request to see your medical records and cancel your claim if they come across undeclared information.
Before travelling, find out how much you can claim in the event of lost luggage, lost money or cancellation cover - there may be a single item limit on your policy, or it may not cover things such mobile phones. You should also check your insurance excess and find out whether this figure is per traveller or per policy.
A lot of insurance providers request that thefts are reported to police within a certain period of time (usually 24 or 48 hours). To eliminate the risk of your claim being invalid, and to make the claiming process as seamless as possible, get to grips with your insurer's procedure and find out how long you have to report a theft.
Action-packed holidays require a certain level of protection, but not all insurers will cover every type of activity. For example, some have exclusions about driving two-wheeled vehicles (such as mopeds) and skiing or snowboarding trips will require winter sports cover on top of your standard policy.
Many travel insurance policies won't cover the costs of a missed flight, even if it was not your fault that you didn't make it on time (ie. due to a road accident causing traffic). However, even those insurers that do cover this eventuality will request proof that you gave yourself sufficient time to catch the flight, so you'll need to be prepared to provide this.