Far from being useless, these insurance policies can offer you more extensive services than those offered by your mutual insurance company by covering, for example, your vehicle.
The purpose of this insurance is to protect you against the financial loss of the cancellation of your trip or an early return (e.g. death of a loved one).
Pay attention to the conditions laid down in the contract, in other words to what is covered (or what is excluded) as causes for cancellation. The following are examples of such causes:
- medical (illnesses, accidents, deaths, transplants, pregnancy complications). The following are not covered: the relapse or aggravation of a disease or condition that was already known before taking out the insurance;
- family-related (divorce or separation);
- professional (economic redundancy, new permanent contract, withdrawal of holidays already granted);
- material (material damage to the home, second home, business premises);
- administrative (summons for military or humanitarian missions, for the adoption of a child or as a witness or member of a legal jury);
- related to the authorities (e.g. refusal of a visa) or miscellaneous (remedial exam, delay in boarding due to a breakdown or accident, cancellation by your travel companion).
Take all necessary measures in order to limit the intervention of the insurer and inform him as soon as possible, because the later you cancel, the higher the costs for the travel organiser and therefore for the insurer.
The insurance can be taken out for a fixed term (temporary) or annually. It can be taken out with the tour operator (standard contract) or via a specific contract with an insurer.
This insurance provides professional help for your family and your vehicle(s).
Pay attention to the conditions (country, amounts, benefits/services, etc.).
It may concern:
Technical assistance (car broken down because e.g. I used diesel instead of petrol, I forgot to take my medication, the vehicle was repaired on the spot and/or towed and a replacement vehicle may be provided, loss of vehicle keys, broken leg and therefore repatriation of the vehicle and persons, etc.).
Check if the following are covered and for what amounts:
- assistance for a trailer or caravan;
- the costs of vehicle storage/repatriation of the vehicle;
- assistance in case of theft of the vehicle;
- assistance with formalities when returning the insured vehicle;
- assistance while awaiting repairs: extension of the trip with a replacement vehicle, accommodation on site or repatriation of the vehicle and its occupants (as well as pets, luggage, trailers and pleasure boats), dispatch of spare parts in the event of a technical incident, etc.;
- breakdown service for opening the doors in case the keys are left inside the insured vehicle.
Also check in the terms and conditions whether, given the age of your vehicle, it is still covered.
Medical insurance: illness, local assistance, repatriation, cover of expenses for a relative, etc.
Check your cover, what the policy covers and up to what amounts:
- hospitalisation costs;
- a visit from a relative in the event of extended hospitalisation;
- other insured persons and especially children (repatriation, accompaniment, etc.);
- repatriation of a body in the event of death;
- organisation of early return in the event of hospitalisation or death of a close relative or for a serious incident at the home;
- intervention in the additional costs of return transport and in the possible costs of extension of the accommodation;
- sending glasses, prostheses or medicines to the destination if they cannot be found in the host country;
- issuance of important travel documents or luggage in the event of theft or loss;
- repatriation of the insured party's vehicle by a replacement driver;
- assistance for pets, etc.
Even though your mutual insurance company intervenes to cover medical or hospitalisation expenses, it is still a good idea to take out the insurance, because the insurer offers more extensive cover and assistance. As such, the mutual insurance company does not intervene for your vehicle even though you are no longer able to drive.
The insurance can be taken out for a fixed term (temporary) or annually.
Also check whether your hospitalisation insurance taken out with an insurer offers assistance abroad to the insured persons.
This insurance covers your baggage against destruction, theft or damage. However, for your valuables, we suggest that you declare them specifically when taking out the contract. In most cases, they will only be taken into account up to a maximum amount.
Read the exclusions to your cover carefully. For example, the following are most often excluded: disappearance of baggage from a hotel room without any sign of break-in, theft using a key. On the other hand, violent robberies are covered.
If you are the victim of an incident, file a complaint with an authority (police, airport complaints department, etc.) and have a report drawn up. Notify your insurer as soon as possible, enclosing as far as possible the report or at least your declaration and the detailed inventory of the stolen/destroyed/damaged objects with an estimate of the replacement value.
If you do not have this insurance and you are the victim of a theft from a hotel or holiday residence, the "theft" cover in your fire policy may cover you. Indeed, it guarantees the temporary removal of furniture for a maximum number of days per year. As such, the pickpocketing of your purse could be covered.