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Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is Essential!

Don’t cut corners with your travel insurance, cheaper is not better; but that does not mean you have to buy the most expensive either.

The important thing with Travel Insurance is to ensure it is ‘Fit for Purpose’.


‘Fit for Purpose’ 

Your travel insurance is the last line of defence when something goes wrong, it will get you treated in hospitals which will not touch you without proof you can pay, it will repatriate you if the worst happens, it will replace your valuables if they disappear and will refund cancelled trips and flights; but only if you have the right cover.

As important as it is to make sure your cover is comprehensive for the activities you intend to take part in, it is almost more important to note the exclusions in your insurance policy; what you are not covered for.

There are too many stories of travellers paying £300 for an annual travel insurance policy, only to find that when they need it most their cover is invalidated by:


  • Travelling to a country / region on the FCO no-travel list.
  • Travelling to an excluded country (often the USA)
  • Being under the influence of drink or drugs when an accident happens
  • Driving without a licence, insurance, seatbelt or crash helmet.
  • Taking part in an excluded activity (diving, skiing, rock-climbing, bungee jumping, etc.)
  • Terrorism
  • Limitation of liabilities
  • Pre-existing medical condition


The cost of an accident when travelling can rise quickly. Hospitalisation which in the UK is free on the NHS, can generate thousands of pound in hospital fees abroad and repatriation to the UK in the case of serious injury can vary from £5,000 to £40,000.

When things go wrong during travel far from home it is stressful enough, the best insurance policies will not only cover your costs but take the stress out of the process and deal with many of the formalities on your behalf.

An example

If you catch Dengue Fever in Paraguay, you may well need to spend a few weeks in hospital. The hospital will want to see your insurance papers or test your credit card before they admit you.

One of the symptoms of Dengue is very high fever and aching pain behind the eyes or even temporary ‘blindness’; it is very debilitating. If you are under that sort of stress will you really be in a state of mind to gather your insurance papers, find a telephone and call the hotline (to be put on hold for 20 minutes), check the small print (in a foreign language) of the documents which the hospital admin staff hand you or organise payment through your credit card?

The best insurance companies will call you back on your mobile phone and provide you with a reassuringly knowledgeable advisor or even a medical professional who can talk you though (in English) what you can expect an what you should demand. They will then contact the hospital and arrange payment to be made directly so there is nothing for you to do except concentrate on getting better.

The worst insurance companies will acknowledge your call tell you to get receipts and 6 months later, when they have exhausted every loophole, might reimburse you the minimum they can get away with.

This difference in approach is often defined by insurance companies as ‘upfront payments’ or ‘reimbursements’; not the clearest or most obvious definition, yet very important if you find yourself in that position.


So there is no getting round it;

Travel Insurance is Essential and Must Be ‘Fit for Purpose’