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Travel Insurance Small Print and Stolen Property

You’re patting yourself on the back for doing the responsible thing, by taking out travel insurance you have given both you and your loved ones the peace of mind that comes with knowing that if anything happens to go wrong you’re covered. In the event of an accident, you’re covered, your stuff gets stolen, you’re covered even if the trip gets canceled, you’re covered. Now that is peace of mind, or is it; are there any clauses hidden in the small print that could in fact ‘un-cover’ you?

The bargain you thought you picked up by combining your travel insurance with your package vacation may not seem so impressive, if in the unfortunate event that you need to claim for stolen possessions the company starts questioning your claims’ credibility even rejecting it all together.If you haven’t taken the time to read the small print of your policy, you may be in for a small shock if anything does in fact go wrong with your holiday. There are some standard conditions when it comes to the small print of travel insurance, what will and won’t be covered and in what circumstances said items will not be covered. That travel insurance has conditions is not something that your average traveler will be aware of, most assume that once your insurance says it covers your items in the event of theft you are fully covered against all forms of theft. Therein lies the source of most of the complaints made against insurance companies that reject such a claim.

Imagine if you will that you have treated yourself to a convertible rental car while on your vacation; you’re driving down with roof down enjoying the sunshine beating on your shoulders. Then all of a sudden as you pull up to the traffic lights, someone reaches in and grabs your handbag from the passenger seat, before you open your mouth to shout the lights have changed and away screeches your handbag with your purse, hotel room key and possibly your passport comfortably nestled in its hand-stitched, silk-lined and organic leather frame. Clearly that would be considered theft; however in the past some companies have deemed such behavior as ‘negligent’ and thus refused to satisfy the claim. By lowering the roof of your vehicle you increased your risk of falling victim to crime as well as increasing the likelihood of you being the cause of an accident as removing the roof increases your exposure to the elements and their effects-sunstroke, heat exhaustion to name but a few.

Some insurers may have a clause in their cover that is specific to convertible drivers and their exclusions may prove to be an interesting read, preferably before you make the purchase of the policy. By reading the policy document in its entirety you will be aware of any conditions relating to stolen property that may impact on the choices you make regarding the possessions you choose to take with you on your vacation. Insurers expect you to value your property enough to take care of them, if  the actions leading up to their theft indicate that you didn’t in fact take reasonable care of your property the insurer may not pay out.  Before traveling you can ask yourself whether you need to take an expensive watch with you on your travels, if it not essential it might be better to leave the item at home. Similarly if you are just popping down to the pool, do you need to take your whole bag with your purse and passport in it, could you not leave said items locked away in your room safe or if one is not available in the hotel’s safe? If the answer is yes then you should, rather than risk your personal effects being stolen while you top up your tan.