You’ve got your ticket, your camera and an assortment of swimming costumes. But do you really need to get travel insurance?
Getting ready to go travelling is exciting, no question. Organising your ride to the airport, making sure you’ve got everything and sorting out your hotels. But, that pesky travel insurance still needs to be bought. And actually, do you really need travel insurance?
No matter how long you’re going for, from a weekend to a year, having good insurance cover is one of the essentials. Here’s why:
You Just Don’t Know
Lets be honest, you just don’t know what’s going to happen. Sure, you might not think you’re going to do anything risky or get in life threatening situations, but sometimes things happen. You could get hit by a car, you could get a serious illness or the sign for your hotel could fall off and hit you on the head. There are things you just can’t plan for and being covered by your travel insurance means you don’t even need to give these things a second thought.
Insurance also covers other aspects such as theft of your stuff, cancellation of flights or bankruptcy of tour companies – the sort of stuff that you just might not see coming.
Healthcare Can Be Very Expensive
Europeans may take for granted their state supplied healthcare. Europeans travelling within Europe are normally covered for simple ailments (get your EHIC first). But American readers will know that the statement above can too often be painfully true.
Travelling to countries in Asia, Africa and South America usually means inconsistent access to decent healthcare which can sometimes be very expensive.
Considering that annual travel insurance costs around £60-70, or single trip insurance as little as £7; it really is worth investing in the peace of mind that insurance offers.
Going to do anything exciting like mountain biking, mountain climbing or skiing? It is definitely worth getting insurance that covers these specifics if you are. You’ll normally be asked if you’re planning to do any adventure sports when you take out the policy. If you’re not sure or you don’t have plans to, you can always buy specific cover when you’re on the road.
Getting Travel Insurance
We do strongly recommend getting travel insurance. There are lots of providers of travel insurance so shop around. One of the best tools is an insurance comparison site, meaning you can weigh up the best choices in minutes.
Making your excess higher will mean your insurance is cheaper but if anything happens you will pay more. Try to find a happy medium, perhaps a £150 excess (or thereabouts).
Check what your insurance covers. It should cover:
- Theft of equipment.
- Being airlifted home.
- Medical expenses up to a specified amount (£1-3 million)* and accidental death cover (yeah, a bit morbid but its good to have).
- Flight cancellation cover.
- Sports cover (if needed).
- Personal liability (if you cause damage to someone or something).
*Higher insurance premiums may apply if you are travelling to the USA. This is because medical cover and treatment is more expensive in the USA.
Many countries have excellent and affordable healthcare, for example UAE, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Mexico. If you have a minor ailment in many places you’ll normally find it is affordable to get it treated. For example dentistry, serious cuts and grazes or chronic food poisoning. You won’t always need to claim on your insurance for these events so check the prices, get receipts and be careful…!
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