It’s the important things in life we always seem to overlook or dismiss as unnecessary. Not seeing the woods for the trees is something that afflicts travellers going to destinations from the Black Forest to the rainforests of Costa Rica. In this case the woods are your travel insurance and the trees are all those other essentials – such as a backpack, torch, journal, breathable shirts, sleeping inner and favourite novels – that seem to get in the way of thinking about what is actually the one thing you should never travel without.
Why is travel insurance essential?
Quite simply travel insurance provides you with financial protection should the unexpected occur. If you simply bank on them not occurring you could be left severely out of pocket and be exposing those you love to a severe financial burden.
It’s not just the catastrophic that you can be covered for: many policies will also cover the simply inconvenient. Things like loss of documents or delays to your travel itinerary can be compensated for by your insurance, including:
· cancelling or cutting your holiday short in an emergency – such as an illness or bereavement
· compensation if your property is lost or stolen and
· medical expenses for injury or illness whilst on holiday.
Medical cover is certainly not just for travellers going to developing countries. There are many countries with no state health service: take America as an example. If you got in a state in the States, for example if you broke a leg climbing a mountain, the cost of hospital treatment and an air ambulance home could quickly mount up to literally tens of thousands of pounds. It is not an exaggeration to say that those who had banked on an accident free break have actually gone bankrupt as a result of medical debts.
Tips for buying travel insurance
1. Always shop around
Forget those packaged insurances that you are offered – take the details and shop around. Consider buying annual cover for the best deal. As ever, price is not your only consideration: make sure you are covered adequately, particularly if you are taking part in sports or activities.
2. Do you need everything?
You may already have some cover in place under your home contents insurance, so choosing a policy allowing you to tailor your cover could save you money. Many credit cards and banks also offer travel insurance so you may already be covered.
3. Now you’ve seen the wood for the trees don’t let the devil be in the detail
Make sure you understand exactly what your travel insurance covers – and what it doesn’t. In particular, check your excesses and make sure they are realistic. Finally, you must tell your insurer about any pre-existing medical conditions you have – failure to do so could lead to a refusal to pay out.
Travel insurance is the holiday essential for any trip away, however long or short and wherever in the world you go. It is the safety net that allows you to roam freely and fly where you fancy. It allows you to be carefree whilst away and take part in wild sports and activities.