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Travel Insurance, Is It Needed?

This is the question people ask me.

Before having working in travel insurance, both selling policies and the medical assistance departments i would have said no its just a waste of money.  But hearing and witnessing some truly horrific stories, and the financial implications in not having it would could leave you needing to sell you home!

I am a firm believer that its better to have it and not need it, instead of not having it and needing it.

I don’t see why not really, yes if you don’t have any medical conditions or any real expensive gadgets with you then by all means get that insurance that costs £2.99 for that weekend break to Prague.  The trouble with this though is the excess on any claims you may need to make, don’t be surprised if you need to cough up in the region of £250 just to claim back that €50 that was stolen.  Whereas with a bit more digging and looking you may be able to get a policy that could cost lets say £30 but have no excess (this sort of policy is not really likely to exist for that price, i know i purchased an annual multi trip policy with no excess for £220.00 back in 2013).  That way any claim you need to make will not cost you anything extra.

Medical conditions

If you are looking at getting travel insurance, any undeclared medication conditions will NOT be covered (even some conditions once declared may not be covered, such as cancer, depression and mental health). But more often than not it would be covered for a premium, and from experience these would start from like £10 for asthma going up to hundreds of pounds if you are currently receiving cancer treatment.   Also bare in mind that even if something pops up whilst away, that could be ‘linked’ to your current condition may result in your claim not being covered.  Therefore having to find potentially thousands of pounds just to leave the hospital (yes, i have heard first hand some horror stories about being stuck in Spain and because they did not have insurance the hospital would not allow them to leave the hospital until a deposit was paid).

Arrrr, but you have the EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card) i head you say.  This is true, but so many hospitals in Europe because of the economic crisis especially in countries like Spain, Greece and Italy will actually not entertain the EHIC card if they know you have insurance. Of course the EHIC card is not a substitute for insurance but compliments the other.

Choosing a policy

This is something that is down to personal preference and what you are wanting from your insurance. This could be wanting more coverage for any lost money or a higher limit for any electrical items lost or stolen (please note with this though, many policies offer a single item limit, and many do not offer coverage for sunglasses or rings etc).

from experience Boots offer a good level of coverage and sometimes even offer 10% off there policies.

In conclusion is travel insurance worth the extra cost?  In my opinion absolutely, there is nothing like the piece of mind knowing that if anything was to happen you would be covered.  Be honest, don’t hide anything and when you get your policy booklet, read it.  You will know what you are covered for and what you are not covered for.

You don’t want to be stuck in Peru with a £150,000+ bill for repatriation now do you!

Lee Webber
Lee Webber
Hola, i'm Lee and one half of the founders of Look at our World. You will quite often find me either behind the computer maintaining this stunning website, or sampling some incredible food.

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