You may think that the familiar sight of delayed trains, gridlocked roads and busy airports are somewhat of a more recent phenomenon if travelling over the Christmas period. Although a short analysis of the Nativity Story shows that travel mishaps have been occurring for more than 2,000 years; in this week's blog we explain how you can avoid being 'delayed in a manger' too!
Millions of us will be travelling over the festive break during the busiest time of the year. We encourage you to check your car is well stocked up on fluids, the tyres are pumped, you've printed any tickets you need, and the travel insurance policy has been checked to ensure any winter sports activities and gadgets are fully covered.
1. Are you travelling with valuable items?
Cramming our cars with lovingly wrapped Christmas presents can be compared to the expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh - the gifts that the three wise men in the Nativity Story spent journeying across the Middle East to give to the newly born infant - but does your travel insurance policy cover them? Alpha offers a fantastic gadget extension which can be added on to any policy you like, and for an affordable additional premium, provides complete peace of mind if you're planning to take gadgets with you on your trip.
2. Are you travelling whilst pregnant?
Joseph and Mary travelled for days on a donkey in the search of a warm place to stay - a pretty tiring trip for a pregnant woman! Alpha's policies provide full cover for up to week 28 of your pregnancy, with week 29 onwards cover is provided for any complications that may arise. Make sure that you check your holiday insurance policy for pregnancy terms and conditions.
Pregnancy itself is not considered as a medical condition and therefore does not need to be declared to your insurer; however if you have any medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, lower back pain, varicose veins or fainting) then these need to be mentioned and added to your policy.
3. Do you need emergency medical assistance?
Mary gave birth whilst on route to Bethlehem, and as there was no room in the inn, gave birth in a nearby stable. Following on from the last section on pregnancy, the reason that travel providers do not provide full cover after week 28 is because there is a significantly higher risk of premature birth or complications, especially if travelling by air.
Airlines, however, may have different rules to your travel insurance provider on how far ahead in your pregnancy they will let you fly. Speak to the airline directly at the time of booking to check their rules on pregnancy - do not assume that it is the same for all airlines! Consultation with your doctor and/or midwife is recommended to ask for their expert advice regarding if it is safe for you to travel whilst pregnant.
Having a travel insurance policy that provides cover for emergency medical expenses, whether you are pregnant or not, is absolutely essential to ensure you and your health are protected. When choosing a medical holiday insurance policy, check that you have at least £10 million of expenses, it covers repatriation, includes air ambulance (if medically necessary), as well as emergency dental treatment. There's nothing worse than purchasing a travel insurance policy for medical expenses, then realise at the last minute it doesn't cover all eventualities.
Alongside your travel insurance policy, you will need to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which, if you need outpatient treatment such as doctors' visits or prescriptions, the card will reduce the costs a little for you (or cover them completely). The card is free and you will need to obtain one for every person who is travelling. It is worth mentioning that the EHIC is not a complete replacement for a travel insurance policy, but should be used alongside it; it also does not provide free in-patient treatment, and definitely does not cover private hospitals!
We hope that you have a very enjoyable Christmas and New Year break, wherever in the world you plan to spend it! For more information on holiday and travel insurance, please visit our dedicated product pages, our FAQ section or speak to an experienced advisor using our dedicated live chat service!
Alpha Travel Insurance and alphatravelinsurance.co.uk are trading names of Travel Insurance Facilities Plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN306537. tifgroup is trading name of Travel Insurance Facilities Plc registered in England No. 3220410. tifgroup; all rights reserved. Registered Office: 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UY