Do I Need Travel Insurance?
Do you need travel insurance? The answer for any traveller is an unequivocal ‘yes’. The hope, of course, is that you will never need to use it. But if you are travelling abroad, for any length of time, in any corner of the world, it is not worth the risk. Protect yourself against the unthinkable and ensure that even the slightest unforeseeable hiccup is covered.
A volcanic ash cloud, like the one that hit Europe in 2010, shuts down all airspace. All flights home are cancelled indefinitely and you find yourself staying away longer than planned. While an extended holiday sounds delightful in theory, higher hotel costs and new flights can be a financial headache. Without insurance you stand to lose a fortune.
“My family and I found ourselves stranded in Spain after all planes were grounded during the ash cloud. There was no option of getting home. We would have to stay put. We booked ourselves into the only hotel we could find and when the cloud disappeared, we had to rebook our flight as the airline would not reseat us. Without insurance we would have lost a fortune.”
While on a city break for business, you suffer severe food poisoning. You spend the large part of your weekend in your hotel room, feeling deeply unwell. You are forced to miss various meetings and social events, and end up with a short stay in hospital. Without insurance you couldn’t claim any money back for the medical expenses.
“I suffered from a severe norovirus bug whilst on a work city break. Thank God that I had insurance – after providing doctor’s notes, I was able to get the vast majority of my money back.”
During a city break to New York, your wallet and passport are stolen out of your pocket on the subway. The British embassy are able to provide a temporary passport but only a limited amount of emergency cash; without insurance, you spend the remainder of your long weekend in a rundown motel on the outskirts of the city – a sour end to your trip.
“The embassy were really helpful when my
handbag was stolen and we were able to get
home safely, but the trip would have been
ruined if we didn’t have insurance. Our
insurers provided emergency cash and put
us up in the same hotel for a couple more
nights whilst my new passport was being
You are involved in a minor accident during a cycling holiday in Spain and fracture a bone in your leg. You assume that since Spain is part of the EU and has a nationalised health service (similar to the UK’s NHS) you are automatically entitled to free healthcare. Your extortionate bill suggests otherwise.
“Our insurance company were great when I broke my arm on holiday – they pointed out all the correct forms we needed to bring with us before travelling to prove we were EU citizens and covered the costs until we were able to claim back. And we were able to get refunds on the activities we had booked but had to cancel.”
Due to a mix-up at the airport, your suitcase does not show up at Sydney International Airport at the start of a beach holiday in Australia. All your clothes and possessions are lost, possibly for good. You are forced to spend the majority of your spending money on new clothes; your holiday becomes a great deal thriftier than anticipated.
“My backpack got stuck at a connecting airport and there was a lot of confusion about where and when it would surface. I was stuck in the same sweaty clothes I’d been in for my 21-hour flight. I was relieved that my insurance had a Delayed Luggage clause and I was given emergency cash to buy new clothes.”
During a hike, you suffer an injury. You require immediate attention but are camped in a remote village where there are limited medical facilities. You are forced to wait days for the local doctor to arrive, during which time your condition only worsens.
“Our insurance covered medical evacuation, so even though I fell ill in what could reasonably be described
as the middle of nowhere, my insurers paid for a speedy ambulance to take me over the border where a hospital with specialists were waiting to treat me.”
During a weekend away in Prague, you accidentally crash your rental car into a parked car on a dimly lit street. The rental car company charges you for repairs, and the owner of the parked car sues you for damages. You are forced into a lengthy court case, ensuing in a longer stay than planned and exorbitant legal costs.
“I was involved in a car accident, through no fault of my own, which damaged a local’s car. I was able to prove, using local CCTV, that the crash was an accident and that I was not negligent, and as a result I could claim back on insurance.”