Insurance

Paying for your airline ticket with a credit card often provides limited travel accident insurance, and you may be able to reclaim the payment if the operator doesn’t deliver. However, a fuller travel insurance policy is recommended to cover theft, personal liability, loss and medical problems. Many policies also cover cancellation or delays in travel arrangements; for example, if you fall seriously ill two days before departure. Buy such insurance as early as possible: if you buy it the week before you are due to fly, you might find that you’re not covered for delays caused, for example, by strikes that had been planned before you took out the insurance.

Browse extensively online to find the best rates ensuring that all sports and activities are covered and comparing excesses as well as just the premiums. Be sure to check the small print. Multi-trip policies are often good value if you're making more than one annual trip.

Although EU nationals qualify for reciprocal health care in Belgium, doctors and hospitals generally expect payment up front, so medical cover remains important. Make sure you get a policy that covers you for the worst possible scenario, and check whether your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.

Worldwide travel insurance is available at www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-insurance. You can buy, extend and claim online anytime – even if you’re already on the road.

Checking insurance quotes…