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Don't forget travel insurance!

18.1.2015 at 07:00
Check your insurance cover well in advance of your trip.

The wise traveller finds out what to do in case something happens during the trip.For instance, always carry your insurance company's emergency contact details and those of their local partner companies.

The travel-insurance policies most commonly sold in Finland by Finnish insurers usually cover the passenger's health and/or luggage, and they may also cover liability during your travel and legal expenses.

Before you leave

Check the validity and content of the travel insurance you and/or your employer have obtained for you. If you are a trade-union member, find out whether travel insurance is one of the membership benefits. You can buy supplementary cover as needed.

Bear in mind that not all types of travel insurance cover manual work – or even any work at all. Likewise, competitive or high-risk sports are excluded most of the time or at least limited.

If you travel in Europe, order a European Health Insurance Card from Kela. It's free of charge and entitles you to medical treatment on the same terms as the local residents where you are travelling, with the same fees.

In case of an accident...

Many insurance companies have a 24-hour emergency phone line, often supported by a worldwide network of insurance partners.

Some of the most popular holiday areas have partner hospitals and doctors who have a contract with insurance companies. They charge the insurance companies directly for their services. It's a good idea to find out about the hospitals and doctors where you're headed and to have their contact details with you on the trip.

What kind of insurance

Points to consider before taking out any travel insurance:

  • Do you need cover for a single trip or, instead, continuous cover?
  • Is passenger insurance sufficient for your needs, or do you need cover for your luggage and potential liabilities too?
  • Do you need separate cover for children?
  • Do you want the insurance to cover only trips abroad or also domestic travel?
  • Do you want insurance cover for holidays only or to include business trips too?
  • What sort of sums would you want as compensation for any disability or death, and do you need a daily-benefit provision?
  • What do your existing policies cover?
  • Do you need any extended cover, for a separate fee, on account of the length of the trip?
  • What will you be doing during the trip? Do you need extra cover for certain sports, for example?
  • What sort of compensation service at the destination do you require?

Shopping around is worth the time

In addition to domestic insurance companies, travel insurance is offered by many travel agents and airlines. These are often policies underwritten by partners in other countries, so the coverage and terms may differ from what generally apply in your own country. It's always worth your time and effort to research and compare!

Travel insurance comes with some credit cards, but it may be conditional on using the card to pay for the trip in question.

Source: Advice services of the Finnish Financial Ombudsman Bureau (FINE), at
Photo: iStockphoto