December is a popular time to travel and whether you’re off to warmer climates to escape the cold or visiting Santa in Lapland, there’s no denying that winter travel comes with some specific risks. Bad weather disruptions and travel delays can certainly dampen the festive cheer, but more importantly, no one wants to be left out of pocket at Christmas should things not go to plan! Here are some tips on how to protect yourself:
New York, German Christmas Markets, Duty Free – whatever you’re buying and where from, you’ll want to make sure your Christmas gifts are protected, and that doesn’t just mean making sure breakables are well packaged! Having sufficient travel insurance that covers baggage and personal belongings for your return journey home means you can to claim for out of pocket expenses should your suitcase or belongings become lost, stolen or damaged. If you’re bringing back anything expensive such as designer gifts, laptops, cameras and other gadgets, you will need ample insurance, so do check the single article limit of the travel insurance you intend to buy.
Another tip is to carry your receipts separately to your luggage so you can prove the value of your purchased items to your insurer, if need be.
Even UK breaks need insuring! If you’ve booked yourself into a hotel or perhaps you’re renting a cosy cottage or lodge this year for Christmas, then you need to consider what would happen if you have to cancel for reasons such as illness. If you’ve booked two or more nights away in the UK, then you’re eligible for UK travel insurance and could claim back your accommodation costs should you be forced to cancel, but do check that the excess on the policy is not too high; otherwise you may not be able to claim much of your money back!
With it being winter, we all know that there is a strong possibility that weather may interfere with our travel plans. Conditions such as wind, snow, fog and ice can cause havoc on the roads, railways and at the airports. It's likely delays will occur and transportation may be cancelled. We all hope it won’t happen of course, but as passed years have proven; bad weather can take us by surprise!
So what do you do? Well, it’s unlikely that insurers will pay out for cancellation due to bad weather, but fortunately most airlines will offer a refund or alternative flight so you shouldn’t be left out of pocket. Many travel insurance policies however, provide travel delay cover, which will provide compensation in the event of major delays. This is handy to have as airlines and other transport providers are not liable for cancelled hotel arrangements or holiday activities. You may also be reimbursed for additional expenses occurred due to delay. Normally the longer you're delayed, the more compensation you’re likely to receive.
In the case of missed flight departure due to chaotic traffic or rail delays, you may be able to claim a certain amount of money from your insurer. Keep proof of when you set out on your journey and any roadside assistance received as evidence that you took reasonable steps to get there on time.
You can use our travel insurance comparison tool to compare quotes for winter breaks right here online, simply click the 'Compare Quotes' button at the top right of this page, or you’re welcome to call our Customer Support Line on 0844 998 9147 if you prefer to get a telephone quote. For those of you going skiing, you will be given the opportunity to include winter sports cover when you apply.
Medical Travel Compared, compares quotes from over 25 specialist insurers, so we’re confident we can help you to find the right policy and save you money on your travel insurance this Christmas!