When traveling abroad most people will consider a great many things. From phone tariffs to emergency currency there is plenty to think about to ensure you and your family are protected. However there is one question which pops up time after time, “Do I need travel insurance?” The answer nine times out of ten is yes. If you feel that you are not in a position to pay for any expenses that could be incurred should anything in your trip go wrong (from injuries to flight cancellations) then yes, you really do need appropriate travel insurance.
Why do you need travel insurance?
As we say, travel insurance will cover the cost of a variety of common travel related problems that can occur when taking a trip abroad. If you have the correct cover, your travel insurance company will either pay these expenses for you, or re-reimburse you if you pay. The method of covering the fees depends on the company and situation; however it shouldn't be too difficult. So what types of situations will travel insurance cover expenses for?
- Emergency medical costs (Normally not long term health care)
- Property loss or damage (Such as luggage)
- Costs incurred when altering trip plans (Such as leaving early)
- Personal liability in case you are sued for any reason
There are certain things that most travel insurance will not cover including extreme sports, pre-existing medical conditions, visiting acknowledged high risk areas (see site here
)and more. That is why it is vital that you answer all questions completely honestly when purchasing travel insurance, otherwise it could mean insurers won’t pay out. It’s also imperative that you read your specific policy to ensure you know exactly what it covers.
How to get the right travel insurance
The key factor in finding the right travel insurance is knowing exactly what it is you’re buying. It is far too easy to take out the cheapest policy you can find and assume that will cover everything you need. This simply isn’t the case and without a thorough understands of what you need from a travel insurance policy; you could be left very vulnerable should anything go wrong. Our advice is to use a reliable health insurance broker
such as Medibroker International. This way you will pay the same price for your travel insurance as you would be going direct to an insurer. The difference is a broker will give you completely free and independent advice while taking the time to understand your personal insurance needs.
Travel insurance misconceptions
There is a common misconception that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) offers holders international health insurance no matter where they are. This is absolutely not the case! The EHIC offers some level of state health however this is not necessarily free. You could still end up paying for certain treatments within the EU and in particular if you require travel back home for care. It is recommended that even if you are traveling within the EU you should take out travel insurance to be safe. If you are traveling anywhere outside of Europe the EHIC is essentially good for nothing. See the EHIC webpage for full details.
Travel insurance will not pay for long term health care for pre-existing medical conditions. If you are looking for a much more comprehensive plan to cover you medical expenses then you should seriously consider international private medical insurance (IPMI) as an alternative. Although IPMI is more expensive than travel insurance it does offer a much higher level of protection in terms of medical expenses and is generally advisable is you are visiting a country for more than 12 months. Some people are of the opinion that travel insurance companies are known for not paying out. This is again down to you to understand exactly what you need from a policy and understanding what they will pay out for. If your policy doesn’t cover extreme sports then you really can’t act surprised when you aren’t covered when break your leg snowboarding down the Matterhorn!
So do you need travel insurance?
So when people ask do you need travel insurance, the answer is it’s not a legal requirement, however if you feel that you cannot cover financial expenses that can be incurred by a variety of common problems, then you really should take some out. It’s fairly inexpensive and can save you A LOT of money in the long term. Author Stephen Whitfield - Find me on Google+ Medibroker are a UK based brokerage who can help you find the right health or travel insurance completely free.