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Holidays - are you covered? 10 March 2006

    The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading advises on holiday insurance

    At this time of year planning summer holidays helps raise the spirits. But it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holiday and forget the more routine aspects such as holiday insurance cover.

    It is wise, although not a legal requirement, to take out travel insurance. Making your own insurance arrangements is usually cheaper than buying the standard policies offered by tour operators. Don't be pressurised by the holiday company to buy their cover - shop around. Also check to see if your credit card provides such insurance if you pay for your holiday with the card.

    Whether you arrange travel insurance independently or through a holiday operator, always check the details of the policy very carefully. It should at least cover:

    • Cancellation of, or cutting short, your holiday
    • Illness or injury while you are away
    • Loss or theft of your belongings
    • Delayed or missed connection
    • Liability for accidents to others

    Make sure you know what is excluded and what you need to do to be able to make a claim (for example, reporting a theft to the local police). Remember if you need to cut short your holiday because someone at home is ill, ensure you get the insurer's consent before rearranging flights.

    If you plan to try out sports or activities on holiday that could be considered hazardous, such as scuba diving, a standard policy may not cover you. You may be able to get this added to your insurance. If not, you need to arrange a specialist policy. Do not rely on buying insurance abroad.

    Don't forget to confirm with your insurers that they will not charge you Insurance Premium Tax (IPT). IPT is charged at a rate of 17.5% on holiday insurance for residents of the UK but you are not required to pay it if you are habitually resident on the Island.

    10th March 2006

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