Everyone should get travel insurance as soon as you have booked a holiday. Too often, people book holidays and leave the insurance until last. But what if you book a holiday, then get ill and can’t travel? The airline wont refund you, the holiday company wont help and you’ve lost your money. One of the main purposes of travel insurance is to cover you in case of illness, injury or the death of a family member.
Holiday makers who jet off without buying travel insurance could end up regretting it, as research shows failing to buy cover could cost you more than £100,000.
3,000 Britons a week claim for emergency medical treatment whilst on holiday, yet, despite this, one in four people say they would travel abroad without insurance.
The insurance company Admiral says the average medical claim is more than £700, with holidays in Spain, France and Greece generating the most claims.
Serious illness can be far more costly. For example, treating a heart attack in the USA can cost up to £120,000, which is astounding. Luckily, we are covered for travel within Europe due to the protection of the European Health Insurance Card, but travel to Dubai, Turkey, Barbados, Canada, etc and the costs for emergency medical treatment can be astronomical.
Even with a European Health Insurance Card, it is important to get insurance, just in case you need extra care, loose your bags or need to cancel your holiday. Insurance also provides peace of mind, especially when travelling with your family and children.
You can continue to use your EHIC card as usual until Brexit is concluded. However, EHIC card does not cover everything. It entitles you to free, or discounted, local treatment across the EU and also covers pre-existing and chronic conditions. It does not cover air ambulances, medical repatriation and care at private facilities.
Medical complications and emergencies account for more than 4 out of 10 insurance claims, which is double the number for lost baggage and three times more for delayed or missed flights. Medical problems make up more than 70% of total costs.
When is comes to insurance, cheap usually isn’t best. The more expensive policies usually cover you for more, here is what to check for when purchasing holiday insurance:
- 1. Insurance policies should have a maximum of £5 million, in case the unthinkable might happen.
- 2. Emergency repatriation should you not be able to continue with the holiday.
- 3. Cover for any medical, surgical, and hospital treatment, as well as ambulance bills incurred as a result of something that happened while travelling.
- 4. Personal belongings of high value, watches and jewellery are usually included, but make sure you check up to what value if you own any high price items.
- 5. Pre-existing medical or chronic illnesses, you must make the insurer aware of this as it would affect the claim.
- 6. Most policies have a list of activities or sports that are covered, so check the list for anything you think you’ll take part in. You may have to pay extra for specialist activities, such as bungee jumping, hiking at altitude, sky diving, elephant trekking etc.
Souces: Admiral Insurance, Money Saving Expert, Wanderlust Travel Magazine.