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Overseas Travel – Useful Information

Travel insurance: the essentials.

Some invaluable tips that will help ensure you are suitably insured on your Scout travels and get promptly reimbursed for losses if you need to make a claim.

Before you book your trip

Arrange your travel insurance

Whether you are travelling in the UK or abroad, always sort out your insurance before arranging or paying for anything else. A good insurance policy will cover you for cancelling or cutting a trip short under certain circumstances. This means that if you have to cancel your trip, due to events outside your control, you won’t be left out of pocket. Always check the conditions and exclusions of your travel insurance policy.

Cheaper policies will usually have less cover – for some the price seems most important, but is it worth the initial saving?

Please note that cover cannot be purchased more than 12 months in advance of the start date of your trip. If the start date of the trip that you would like to insure is more than 12 months away, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Check with government advice

Always check the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office website (www.gov.uk/fco) for up-to-date advice on the current situation in the country you are travelling to. If the advice is not to travel to the country at the time of booking your trip, you run the risk that your insurance will not be valid in the event of cancellation.

Health considerations

Pre-existing health problems can limit cover on many travel policies. You should disclose to your insurer any medical conditions, terminal illnesses or conditions where you are awaiting treatment that may affect your ability to travel. Travelling against the advice of a doctor will almost certainly invalidate your policy.

Passports, documents and European Health Insurance Card

Check your passports are valid and you have all necessary visas. You should make copies of important travel documents.

If you are travelling in European countries, you should get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for healthcare. However EHIC does not mean you are insured. You will still need appropriate insurance to ensure you are fully covered for all eventualities. Few EU countries pay the full cost of medical treatment, even under the European Union’s healthcare arrangements.

You still need sufficient travel insurance to cover healthcare costs. For more information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office "How to protect yourself financially if your holiday goes wrong".

Your Scout Group’s camping equipment

Do not forget that if you are taking your Scout Group’s camping equipment with you, you may need short period cover for that as well.

If your Scout Group insures its equipment under the All Risks section of the Scout Property and Equipment policy provided by Unity, your equipment will already be covered in transit and in use on your overseas trip. Therefore you do not need to take out additional insurance for these items.

If your Group insures its equipment under the Contents section, your equipment will not covered outside the UK. If this is the case, you should consider insuring your Group’s equipment under the All Risks section of a Scout Short Period Property and Equipment policy, while it is out of the UK.

On your trip

However prepared you are before travelling, incidents may be unavoidable.

Lost items or theft

Do not rely on compensation from an airline if it loses your luggage. By law, airlines only have to pay a specified minimum value per kilo of lost luggage. This is unlikely to cover the full value of your things.

If you lose something while away, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible to notify them of a potential claim. You must report any theft to the local police as soon as possible. Make sure you are given a crime reference number and report as you will need this for making a claim.

Medical assistance

If you require medical assistance, keep copies of all bills and appointment details – you will need these to make a claim.

If your Scout trip is insured under Unity's Scout Travel Insurance policy, and you need Emergency Assistance, please contact: Intana
Telephone: + 44 (0) 208 865 3055
Email: unityassistance@intana-assist.com

Travel delays

If your trip is delayed for reasons outside of your control, you will need details from the travel company regarding the length and reason for the delay.

Back home

If you are unable to contact your insurer while you are away, you should notify them of any potential claim as soon as you return and request a claim form.

Complete the claim form with as much detail as possible and return it with copies of your insurance certificate, receipts for costs incurred and supporting evidence.


Further information

For general travel advice: See The Scout Association's "Thinking of going abroad" page, which gives advice about travelling abroad and is the first step in the Visits Abroad Process.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office's ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign and Travel checklist. (Please note we are not responsible for any of the content listed at these links, it is provided purely as a helpful reference.)


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