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The excitement of getting away from it all when booking a holiday means travel insurance can sometimes become an afterthought.

But the policy could end up saving you a mountain of stress if the worst were to happen on your trip.

A poll of 800 claimants by consumer champion Which? reveals the most common types of travel insurance claim:

Medical costs

The highest proportion of claims made by travellers in the past two years have been for medical cover, Which? found.

Holidaymakers can benefit from protection under the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) scheme when travelling to many European countries – this means you can get emergency treatment at no higher cost than if you were a resident.

Costs covered by insurance may also include travel between hospitals or back to the UK where needed.

Cancellation

Cancellation cover was close behind medical costs, at 27% of claims.

Insurers could reimburse you if you have to suddenly cancel your journey before you go, depending on the reason.

This element of travel insurance is why it’s important to find a policy that works for you as soon as you book the holiday – but check that the cancellation cover offered is right for your trip.

Transport delays

A holiday affected by transport delays could be grounds for an insurance claim – with most policies offering some cover for this reason.

The poll by Which? found that 25% of claimants surveyed used this feature.

Delay cover can be for the cost of reimbursing food and accommodation costs while waiting for transport issues to be sorted, or “missed departure” cover.

Not all insurers will offer this however – so check the small print.

Lost possessions

Some 21% of claimants made a claim after their luggage was lost.

The vast majority of insurers offer cover

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