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When it comes to travelling, travel insurance is something that I've always purchased, but never really thought that much about. That was until I recently had to take out some travel insurance again for my next trip abroad. I have to take out pre-existing medical condition insurance which is a lot more expensive than your average travel insurance, and it really made me consider whether I needed to get insurance before my travels.

It also got me thinking about whether other people actually take out the cover, or risk it and travel without their own insurance. I've teamed up with TRUE Solicitors LLP, accident at work claims specialists, to see exactly how important it is to take out cover before you get on that plane.

The Stats

According to the ABTA Holiday Habits report 2017, around 57% of people travel abroad for their holidays each year from the UK. This is slowly increasing as travelling becomes more of a lifestyle, as opposed to a luxury.

The ABTA reports also showed the following results:

  • 25% of holiday makers aren't insured on their trip with it being more common among young people
  • 38% of 18-24 year olds weren't insured when travelling abroad 
  • 25% of 35-44 year olds weren't insured when travelling abroad
  • 23% of 45-54 year olds weren't insured when travelling abroad
  • 14% of those aged 55+ weren't insured when travelling abroad

What you should know about travel insurance 

Insurance is all about covering the unpredictable events that may occur before your holiday or when you finally reach your destination. It’s important that you purchase your insurance as soon as you book your holiday, as it can cover potential cancellations and pre-trip illnesses — it’s a small financial decision that can save you a fortune in the long run.

It’s important that you analyse the policies that come with any travel insurance you purchase, as different companies will offer different levels of coverage. It is unlikely that they will cover high-risk activities. It’s important to consider what type of holiday you’re going on — if it’s active like skiing, you must inform your insurer to get the best cover.

Pay attention to the small print

For example, if you’ve consumed alcohol and need medical attention some insurance companies will reject your claim — in extreme cases, they could seek out court rulings and will supply the court with medical records that say you had alcohol in your blood. It’s important to remember that in hot countries, your body will absorb alcohol more easily too. 

If you have something stolen from you when you’re abroad, you must have substantial evidence that will back your claims. So once reported to the police, you must ensure that you receive a copy of the police report so that can prove your loss — within 24 hours too. Many companies will reject your claim if the items that have been stolen are left unattended in your room and you haven’t used the hotel’s safe. 

Another worrying factor that you should be aware of before travelling is that if your travel company was to go out of business, you would not be covered. However, when it comes to the airline going out of business, you may be covered but could be required to pay an extra premium. 

Only in exceptional circumstances may insurance companies waiver the decision to cover terrorism or natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and lightning strikes. 

 Most common injuries to occur abroad

Research has suggested that 74-80% deaths abroad are caused from natural circumstances like heart attacks. However, the same source found that 18-24% occur due to accidents and 2% from infectious diseases. Two thirds of holidaymakers worry about getting sick when they’re away, but it’s inevitable when results show that one in 20 trips can include sickness or injury.

Slips, trips and falls are some of the most common causes of injuries when holidaying abroad and this is sometimes caused by uneven carpets or flooring that has not been properly maintained. Take note of signs to ensure you’re not at risk of injury through slippery or uneven floors.

As we drive on the left here in the UK, facing foreign roads can sometimes be a challenge and leave us confused at times.  You might be trying to follow directions or the GPS on your phone — but you must stay alert and not get distracted to avoid any type of road traffic accident.

Of course, you want to have fun when you’re on holiday and you don’t want to miss out on any sport excursions. If you have concerns, you must ask the organisers as high risk activities can invalidate any insurance policies if you’re not properly protected.

The cost of such injuries can be excessive too, with the average medical claim costing £914. However, for 65-74-year olds, this cost increases to £971.63. One example provided by the FCO stated that one stomach bug infection that was treated in a Californian hospital cost £100,000, including return flights back home.

48% of people don’t realise that without travel insurance, they’d have to pay for their own medical bills when they’re abroad. 78% said that they wouldn’t be able to pay just £10,000 to cover the costs that could present themselves.

All in all, it’s vital for people to take out the right insurance policy for their needs when they travel abroad and fully understand what they are and aren’t covered for. With Brexit just around the corner, and the fate of the EHIC unknown, will we see an increase in the number of people taking out insurance?



Sources: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11 
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