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As we approach the summer holiday season for another year, we are all looking forward to the chance to relax on an exotic beach and take in the sun, sea and sand. For eager holiday makers, the last thing you probably want to think about is what kind of travel insurance you are going to purchase. However, the fact of the matter is, whether you are jetting off on a short city break or undertaking an epic excursion, it is one of life’s unavoidable necessities.

Travel insurance acts as a way of protecting the expense and effort that a holiday involves by providing cover against risks such as accidents, illness, missed flights, cancelled tours, lost baggage, theft, and emergency evacuation. It is vital for anyone who wants guaranteed peace of mind for themselves and their family when travelling abroad. Unfortunately, it is also big business for insurance providers. Every year many holiday makers end up paying over the odds for their travel cover, or get caught out by the small print in their policy, because they aren’t aware of the options that are available to them or the areas in which they can save money.

Ensuring that you do your research in advance and have the right cover for your destination is the key to avoiding price hikes or unexpected financial penalties. The first thing to take into consideration is that, whilst your tour operator or airline may be the easiest option for insurance cover, it is unlikely to be the cheapest.  Travel companies often offer inclusive deals with your holiday, but as these rarely work out to be cost effective, it’s worth being patient and looking separately for more cost effective options.

Taking full advantage of internet price comparison sights is the fastest and most effective way to find a good deal on an insurance policy that meets all your needs. You are also likely to find the best rates purchasing online. Nevertheless, there is more to take into consideration than simply bagging the lowest price. Think carefully about the type of cover you need; for instance are you planning on undertaking any activities like scuba diving while on holiday make sure they are included in your policy. Similarly, don’t pay over the odds for cover you don’t need. Checking that credit cards and personal belongings are insured under by your home cover or card provider is one way to save an unnecessary pinch on the purse.

If you are planning to travel away from home more than once this year, then one certain way to save money is to purchase an annual travel insurance policy. This will cover you for multiple trips rather than having to arrange insurance individually for each journey, and it may even cover you for weekends away in the UK throughout the year. As insurance also generally gets cheaper with the more people you cover, depending on your situation consider a couple or family policy. Have a look at sites like GO Travel, to name one, who offer a variety of annual travel insurance options at reasonable rates.

Guaranteeing you don’t get caught out by your travel insurance is all about making sure you get the right kind of cover for you and your family. Although deathly boring, you should always take the time to read the small print on your policy before purchasing to ensure you are fully aware of what is required of you and what you are covered for. Finally, when travelling abroad, always check your provider offers a 24 hour international helpline number. This will enable you to negotiate time differences in the event that you need to report a problem.