Up until around September last year, I didn’t have travel insurance.
I know, right? A travel blogger without travel insurance? I must be mad!
To be honest, I just thought there was a slim chance that something bad was going to happen to me, so I’ll save myself an unnecessary cost. It made sense at the time. Kind of.
Anyway, after a couple of successful trips with no injuries or emergencies I went on a trip has now changed the way I think about travel insurance in the sense that I will never travel without it.
Last July, I booked a trip to Magaluf with the girls and before I had even left Palma de Mallorca airport I had lost my passport. I don’t know what happened, all I know is that when I got to the hotel it was nowhere to be seen.
After a couple of hours of calling every where it could have possibly been left and having zero luck, I decided to cut my losses and book a consulate appointment to get an emergecny passport.
BAM. £140 there and then.
To make sure I got to the consulate on time (the appointment was the day of my flight home as we were only there a couple of days) I also had to get a taxi there and back.
Another £50 gone.
Luckily everything went smoothly and I made my flight home, but unfortuanately I was flying a couple of weeks later so I needed a new passport ASAP. I booked an appointment at the passport office in London to get a fast track passport and before I knew it I was another £140 down (when you add on the travel costs too and from London too).
When I had finally recovered from the nightmare of losing my passport a couple of my family members mentioned that this wouldn’t have happened if I had travel insurance. UH WHAT?
Apparently (I must be the only person that didn’t know this in the whole world) travel insurance doesn’t just cover medical emergencies, it also covers lost belongings and documents. I ~think~ I vaguely knew something about it covering lost luggage, but I never would have put 2+2 together and included my passport in that.
Obviously I took out a year plan IMMEDIATELY, but if I had done that from the start I would have been able to get all of the above expenses refunded for the sake of what? £24 a year?
Anyway, that long winded introduction brings me on to the main point of the post – the importance of having travel insurance.
Travel insurance covers you for any cancellations, medical expenses, evacuations, loss or delays, and offers 24/7 assistance.
Cancellations – If you flight were to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, travel insurance would allow you to claim back certain expenses that incur as a result of this. For example, if you were staying in Bali when the volcano erupted and all flights were cancelled you would have had to rebook a flight as well as stay extra nights in a hotel. Your travel insurance would help cover these costs.
It will also cover you if you need to cancel your trip to due serious illness, bankruptcy of your travel supplier, if there has been a terrorist incident in your travel destination and more.
Medical Expenses – If you were to have an accident or fall seriously ill whilst travelling, travel insurance could be an absolute life saver – and sometimes the difference between being able to get the treatment you need or going without. For those with pre-existing conditions there are also holiday insurance options for those with medical conditions.
I’ve heard some absolute horror stories of people having to pay out thousands due to not having travel insurance and falling ill, so I am pleased this is something I won’t have to worry about as much now.
Note: If you’re travelling on a cruise or backpacking, check that the same terms still apply – you may need to upgrade your insurance!
Evacuations – If in the unlikely event you have to be evacuated whilst travelling, your insurance will help cover the cost of this. This includes airlifts, medically equipped flights home and transport to hospital.
Loss or Delays – If you lose your bags, your flight gets delayed or your luggage is delayed – travel insurance can help with any associated costs. For example, if you lose your luggage or it’s delayed, they will be able to reimburse you things things bought such as change of clothes, toiletries or medical supplies.
So, with all of the above and 24/7 assistance offered as part of most travel insurance options, you’d be a fool not to get it right? Do you travel with insurance, or wing it as you go along?