Travel Insurance – Do I Really Need it?

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Travel Insurance – Do I Really Need it?

Those who like to live life in the fast lane will never once think about travel insurance. Breezing in and out of the airports, skiing one legged down the jagged crest of a mountain, tackling wild bears in the woods and eating all the dodgy street food that the streets of Mexico can throw at them – they never seem to break a sweat. These are the Rambo’s of the travel world but for the everyday hit the road jacks like me and you, a little backup along the way certainly wouldn’t hurt.

 

From Lost Luggage to Life and Limb

You can bet that at some point something will go wrong, especially if you are a seasoned traveller who ups the odds by often heading out the door with a backpack in tow. Sometimes the thing that goes wrong can be something as simple as lost luggage or late flights. Other times it can be that you wake up in a Hungarian hospital with a burst appendix and a large dumpy woman standing over you holding a greasy bedpan. Either way it definitely helps to be prepared for the worst case scenario and to know that you are covered so that you don’t have to stay in a Hungarian hospital until the end of days or pay off your bills by taking said dumpy woman on a date.

 

The Clue is in the Destination

The truth of the matter is that travel insurance is actually pretty dam affordable these days and even those on the scraping the bottom of the barrel budget can still afford a basic package and plan. The kind of travel insurance you choose should of course relate to where you are going. A weekend jaunt in the Cotswolds really doesn’t call for travel insurance, a week long party in Paris then maybe a basic package is a good idea in case of alcohol poisoning. A two week skiing holiday in Colorado, then yes travel insurance makes sense because if you fall from the ski lift ( this once happened to me) then even with the new Obama care plan you are going to rack up thousands of dollars in medical bills. Swimming with sharks in the Caribbean, then yes travel insurance makes sense in case Jaws gets a little peckish and you find yourself minus a limb.

 

Claiming Back Akin to Pulling Teeth

Medical cover as part of your travel insurance is pretty much common sense that you can’t argue with. But then there are the tricky counterparts of travel insurance for things like lost luggage, late flights, cancelled holidays and more. Are these really worth the hassle of picking up the phone or typing your credit card details in and going through the rigmarole?

Let’s face it, often insurance companies do try and wriggle out of giving you compensation, even if you have paid, that old saying where there’s a will there’s a way can work against you and you may struggle to make them cough up for things like delays and lost luggage. The best way around this is to make sure you always read the small print, with a magnifying glass and a thesaurus so you can decipher the difficult terms and conditions that litter the page. Treating travel insurance companies like they are out to scam the pants of you is a good idea, it doesn’t mean you should avoid them but that you should fully vet and scrutinise them before you sign. If in doubt always ask questions and don’t get swept away by vague promises and clauses. Remember the devil is always in the detail and this is something you need to take on board when shopping around for travel insurance.

 

Little White Lies Won’t Help

If you are going to opt for travel insurance then make sure you don’t tell porkies to the people selling it you. Telling them you are off on a nice innocent wine tasting tour of the Ardennes when you are actually bungee jumping in Kathmandu can seriously make your travel insurance claim bounce right back in your face. You will have to pay extra for doing slightly ahem, dangerous activities but let’s face it – these are the times when you have more chance of actually getting hurt.

 

So basically travel insurance is a good idea especially if you are heading to far flung destinations with snakes and malaria or simply to the United States. For the cost of a bus ticket across the country you can usually get a good deal on travel insurance that will deliver the peace of mind you need when out in the big wide world.

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