Insurance is usually seen as one of those necessary evils that we spend as little time as possible thinking about. When money is tight, the temptation to scrimp on travel insurance or even go abroad with no insurance can be huge. However, when you think about the sort of things which people claim for every day of the year, it’s easy to see just why travel insurance is so important.
Even within Europe, comprehensive medical insurance is a must. Should you be involved in an accident or fall ill overseas, the insurance company will take care of all of your medical expenses, including arranging for you to be flown home if necessary. Without proper insurance, travellers face either a huge bill for their medical treatment, or even worse, not being able to access medical treatment at all.
Cancellation and Curtailment
Holidays are one of the few things we pay for in full before we actually start to travel. A typical family will have paid thousands of pounds for flights, accommodation, car hire or a package holiday, and an accident, bereavement or illness can leave people severely out of pocket if they have to cancel their holiday. Holiday insurance can help to refund this money. Travel insurance can also help people out when they have to cut their holiday short to return home in an emergency situation.
Airlines are keen to stress that you are less likely than ever to lose your bag, but this is scant comfort if you are one of the unlucky ones who lands on foreign shores with only the clothes you are wearing. Most travel insurance policies will provide funds to purchase the basics needed to get you through the few days until your bag finally turns up.
Being the victim of crime overseas or being stuck in a foreign hospital can be scary and bewildering, especially when you don’t speak the language. All travel insurers will have a helpline open 24 hours a day which will allow you to speak to someone in the UK who can help you. Insurance staff can help put you in touch with local English-speaking lawyers or medical staff, and can make a very stressful situation easier to cope with.
Most people who take out travel insurance are planning nothing more strenuous than lying on the beach, but if holiday plans involve skiing or rock climbing, the risks of injuring yourself are far higher than on a more relaxing holiday. Travellers who are planning on having a “risky” holiday but do not take out the correct cover, or any cover at all, are taking a major gamble with their health and wellbeing.