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5 reasons you need travel insurance
In 2014 Brits will collectively take more than 50million trips abroad on holidays and business. And many of those travellers will set off on their journey with no form of travel insurance in place. But by doing so they are leaving themselves open to a range of risks that could be mitigated by simply spending a few pounds on a travel insurance policy.
Here are five reasons you should never go on holiday without being insured.
1. You’ll avoid hefty medical bills
Here in the UK we are fortunate enough to generally only have to pay for prescriptions when we receive medical treatment. However, when you head overseas, should you require any healthcare, you can end up paying out for huge medical bills, even if you use the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from the NHS or manage to take advantage of reciprocal arrangements such as the ones we have with Australia.
The travel insurance company Insure & Go used its claims data to supply us with the average costs of treatment claimed by its customers. And those costs can be astronomical, with simple injuries such as a slipping over by the pool costing £1,394 in medical fees or tripping over on stairs setting you back an average of £2,422. Even treatment for an animal bite cost an average £247.
Buying a travel insurance policy with sufficient medical cover will protect you from those bills, ensuring you can get treatment as and when you need it.
Be aware that EHICs are not valid if you’re visiting the Channel Islands, so if you don’t have travel insurance, you’ll have to pay for any medical treatment you require.
2. You’ll be covered if you lose your belongings
Many of us travel away with a range of goods from clothes to electrical items, toiletries to jewellery. Yet if you lose these items or they are stolen and you don’t have travel insurance, you could well be left high and dry covering the cost of replacements.
You could, of course, claim on your home insurance policy, but this will only work if it covers you for taking your cherished items overseas. And even if it does, claiming on your home insurance will put your premiums up for the next year.
As a result, it makes much more sense to buy a travel insurance policy for peace of mind. Make sure it also includes cover for your travel money so that you’re protected for loss or theft of your cash.
3. You won’t have to fork out for cancellation fees
When we book our trip, the last thing we will probably think about is cancelling our travel plans. Yet if you or someone in your travelling party falls ill, you get called for jury service, or you get made redundant, for example, you would have to cancel your trip. But a travel insurance policy that includes cancellation cover will protect you in these circumstances. And if you have to cut your holiday short to fly home in an emergency, your policy will also cover you.
4. You’ll be covered if you cause an accident
Personal liability cover will pay out if you cause an accident while you’re on holiday, perhaps when you’re skiing, for example. If you were at fault, the person you’ve injured (or the person whose property you’ve damaged) could make a claim against you and this could run into thousands of pounds. Personal liability cover, however, will protect you against these costs.
A good travel insurance policy will also include personal accident cover which will pay out in the event you yourself were hurt in an accident.
5. You should be compensated for flight delays
If you get stuck on a delayed flight you have some rights under the EU261 rules (which you can read more about here). However, a travel insurance policy with travel delay cover will pay out once those delays become too lengthy to bear. And if you miss your departure due to getting stuck in a traffic jam or on a broken down train on your way to the airport you’ll also have cover to help get you on your way.
It’s worth noting there are a number of extra levels of cover you can often add on to your policy for even greater protection, if they are not already included. These are:
- Catastrophe cover – protects you from problems related to situations such as earthquakes and volcanic ash clouds
- End Supplier Failure – covers you for having to rearrange your holiday plans should an airline or other company go bust on your DIY holiday
- Winter sports cover – never hit the slopes without winter sports cover. Broken limbs will cost you a fortune and if you’re travelling with golf clubs or other sporting equipment you’ll need to have these protected too.
Finally, remember that travel insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. You can pick up one week family and single traveller policies to Europe from as little as £11.
Have you been caught out without travel insurance? Let us know by leaving a comment below.