Saturday, May 26, 2012

The purpose of insurance

Two topics in one today, because most people need two lots of insurance for wedding-time - actual wedding insurance, and then travel insurance for the honeymoon. We currently only have one of these, but I've bought a fair amount of travel insurance over the years so I think I can talk about that too!

Insurance, as Gadget is fond of saying, is there to cover you in case you can't afford to sort it out yourself. Whilst it's great if you can claim for your stolen iPod, it's not essential. If you have a scooter accident in Thailand, your insurance company may have to fly you home for treatment. As this costs more than the average wedding, it's not something most people can afford to pay for. If you don't have insurance, your alternative is taking your chances with the Thai hospitals. I know what I'd prefer...

Yet thousands of people go on holiday every year without travel insurance. For Brits travelling within the EU this is less risky, but I still wouldn't recommend it. (Make sure you have an EHIC card when travelling within the EU - apply via the Post Office.) Outside the EU not having insurance is crazy - particularly when you can get annual insurance for about £50, and two weeks for about £30. If you travel twice or more in one year, get an annual policy.

I'm now going to sound like a boring geek and say please check the small print and make sure you know what you're covered for and how to claim. Take your policy documents with you, plus a copy, and leave a copy with a trusted friend or relative. It sounds like a hassle - but better than having trouble the day you have a problem.

Wedding insurance works on a similar basis. Yes, it probably covers damage to your mum's hat, but that's not why you buy it. You get it in case the venue burns down and everything has to be moved or postponed. Judging by the price of insurance (ours was £34.99) this does not happen very often - big sigh of relief! As it is so cheap to get insured though, you'd be crazy not to. Ideally buy it before you start signing contracts and paying deposits, although some will cover deposits that are already paid.

We got ours from Wedding Plan Insurance, I think we got the second level of cover (up to £10,000). This may not be the best for everyone, but some policies excluded us because we currently live overseas, and others would not pay out if we got injured skiing. Our other choice was Debenhams, but it's the same company underwriting as with Wedding Plan, and Wedding Plan were cheaper.


Ainhoa @ALittleBite said...

We have to buy travel insurance for the honeymoon (US) but I'm trying to find one that's cheapish and reliable and can't! What's this 50 pound annual coverage you're talking about from?

H said...

So I'm fickle with insurance and change companies nearly every year. Most recently I've used flexicover direct, and also the AA. I'm not sure if they cover Spain though - do you have price comparison sites there? In the UK I tend to start with, but they don't have things like that in NZ. Currently Debenhams look like they have good policies, are very flexible and reliable and cover everyone for everything but aren't cheap. I've only claimed from STA travel's annual policy, and that wasn't the cheapest around but gave good cover and paid out quickly - I think they have branches in Spain? Otherwise the people who you have house/car/health insurance with may give you a discount on their travel insurance. Hope you find one!

H said...

Oh and just saw your post on frugal wed about credit vs debit - whilst I totally agree credit card debt is bad news, I wouldn't go to the US without a credit card! Even if you never use it it's worth taking one - if you get ill they may insist on having a credit card before they'll treat you - even with insurance!

Ainhoa @ALittleBite said...

Thanks! My bf has a credit card so we're covered :) I'll check out those sites you mention for insurance.

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