Is Travel Insurance Worth the Bother?

With all the education available on the internet, it is surprising that various published polls and surveys in the UK and US still show a large percentage of travellers admit they do not take out travel insurance and do not think it is necessary. Many holidaymakers mistakenly believe that if they get into any kind of trouble abroad the consulate or embassy will help them out and pay the bills. Sadly, many have found out, at great personal cost, that this is not the case. Don’t be one of them. It’s hard not to notice that advertisements for cheap travel insurance pop up everywhere these days, especially when you are surfing the internet. Airline and travel sites usually include an option to buy holiday insurance when you book. However, not many of them explain why it is so important to have insurance or go to any length to tell you what is and is not covered – let alone whether the policy is right for your particular holiday.

Anyway, bad things happen to other people… don’t they? Travel insurance often comes included and packaged with your bank account, credit card or some other financial arrangement. It is important to check that the insurance is right for you before you depend on it for your trip. Many people don’t know enough about holiday insurance to understand what they need and, unfortunately, may not find out until it is too late… A very cheap or ‘free’ insurance policy may cut corners somewhere and not provide the cover you should have for your trip – especially any planned sports activities. Check the amounts covered under sections of the policy, as well as excess amounts (the amount you contribute towards a claim). A very cheap policy may include higher excess amounts or lower cover on some sections. It is useful to do a comparison, but not all companies are on comparison sites and you may find a better deal for your money elsewhere. A specialist travel insurance company has advisors on hand to answer questions or concerns about the levels of cover and to explain and help you choose the best holiday insurance to cover all your planned activities.

Frequent travellers are more likely to buy insurance as they are aware of the many things that can go wrong and, more important, the potential costs involved if they do go wrong, especially when you are a long way from home.

The major reason many people opt to buy travel insurance is for the protection it provides if you are hurt in an accident or become ill. Without insurance you could find yourself responsible for a costly medical bill – and no one else is going to pay it for you! Many people are not aware of the cost of medical repatriation: if you are hurt in an accident or taken seriously ill abroad and it is necessary to bring you home by air ambulance the cost, depending on where you are in the world, can run into tens of thousands of pounds. This fact alone should convince the doubters that it is vital to have insurance, and yet many people still behave as if bad things only happen to other people!

Many European travellers believe that they do not need insurance if they are just travelling within the European Union with a European Health Insurance Card. Potentially a costly mistake! Although the EHIC usually covers state care within a participating member country, this does not extend to payment of expenses for repatriation (bringing you home). It is important to have the EHIC when travelling within Europe but equally important to have comprehensive travel insurance. In fact, it is a good idea to check your policy as some travel insurers require that you carry the EHIC along with your insurance policy. Not many things these days are free, but the EHIC is completely free so there’s no excuse not to have one.

The cost of travel insurance is insignificant compared with the potential cost of an injury or illness while overseas. Unfortunately bad things do happen, and if you are lucky the bad things will happen to someone else, but what if your turn comes around? If you need to call on your insurance to cover a claim we guarantee you will chalk it up as one of the best investments you ever made!

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