Apr 14, 2015

Posted by in Features, Trip Advice | 9 Comments

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5 reasons you need travel insurance

Brits will collectively take more than 50million trips abroad on holidays and business this year. 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.

Belongings small

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.

Ski 2

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.

Plane small

Additional cover

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 £5.91.

Have you been caught out without travel insurance? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

  1. My husband and I are both in our 70’s , we own an apartment in Spain . We have great difficulties in find ing an insurance policy to cover us for 60 days duration per trip. I must add we are both in good health.

  2. bellyfat says:

    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.

  3. Patrick C says:

    I never buy travel insurance but just returned from a holiday in Sicily with the family. We had a rented car to return to the airport but they closed the main motorway and we consequently missed our flight. We had to get back for work etc and the extra flights for 5 of us cost well over a grand in total.

    • Hi Patrick

      That was an expensive traffic problem to have to encounter. Even with the best planning its easy to get court out with road closures.

      You may want to consider a travel insurance policy from here on in. A good value policy will cost you only a few pounds and would cover for expenses such as missed flights as well as the usual medical, cancellation and baggage. They also offer assistance if you get stuck somewhere with help and advice too.

      Kind regards


  4. julie tennant says:

    I have used my maiden name to book my holiday as I refuse to pay the cost to get it changed with 8 years left on my passport. When I book my travel insurance do i do it in my married name? My EHIC card is in my married name so surely they should match. Should I take a copy of my marriage certificate with me in case I get asked questions should I have to seek medical help. I just know Insurance companies will try to wriggle out of a claim is something isn’t right.

    • Hi there Julie

      If you have applied for an EHIC in your married name then take out your insurance in that name as well. if you are going to let your passport run to the end of its validity then you will need to always travel with a copy of your marriage certificate in case of difficulty and for proof of who you are. having different names on documents can be confusing for some organisations, however the marriage certificate will settle that.

      Have a great trip.

      Kind regards


  5. ruthgeorge says:

    However, a travel insurance policy with travel delay cover will pay out once those delays become too lengthy to bear

  6. Julia Oram says:

    Hi I just wanted to ask I’m going on a last girls holiday soon, as I’m married now and flying on my maiden name on my passport and tickets.just wondering about travel insurance in which name and would it be valid? Many Thanks Julia

    • Hi Julia

      Book your travel insurance in your married name. If you need to make a claim you just supply a copy of your wedding certificate. I would also advise that you travel with a copy of one as well for while you are away in case of medical claim.

      Have a great trip.

      Kind regards


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