Do I need Insurance?
Not the most glamorous or interesting subject but one none the less that needs discussing.
Having worked in the travel industry for over 20 years if I had a penny for every time I was asked this question it would be me on the ultra-luxury world cruise Silverseas have just launched and you would be reading my colleagues blog instead!
Around 6 million brits are travelling without any cover, which is about one in four that doesn’t bother. Stating the “it won’t happen to me” line. But it does and more than you think.
The highest medical pay-out last year was £1.5 million. This was for a woman who received treatment after suffering a brain injury in the USA and was flown home by air ambulance.
The 24% that do not take out insurance risk large bills. Medical treatment can be very expensive in many counties and although we moan about the NHS we largely do not have to pay, whereas in many countries you do.
Arranging comprehensive travel insurance should be automatic, as an accident or emergency abroad can end up costing thousands, and it’s often the family who is left to cover the costs. I have known of people having to take out 2nd mortgages after something went wrong whilst on holiday, all to save a few pounds, and that is really all it is nowadays, unless you are over a certain age or have pre-existing medical conditions (there are lots of options for these too now).
£35,000-45,000 – air ambulance from USA’s East coast
£12,000-16,000 – air ambulance from the Canary Islands
An EHIC is valid for all medically-necessary care within the EU and the EEA and should be accepted by all state hospitals. However the FCO strongly recommend that travellers should also have comprehensive travel insurance, as an EHIC only covers necessary care and won’t cover things such as repatriation to the UK in the case of a medical emergency. And will not cover your visit to the ship’s Dr if needed. I was recently on a cruise where a couple I was talking to had been to the ships Dr, they were on an excursion and one of the parties fell, scraping her knee. She could not praise the Dr and nurse on board enough as the care she receive was great, they had to clean the wound, as she had half of Mount Vesuvius in her knee, she took a tumble of the steep climb down, treat the area, dress the wound and she had to return for them to change the dressing, check the wound etc, there is properly more to it but I am squeamish so didn’t listen too much! But I did hear when they said the bill was over £200, luckily they had insurance.
Your credit card accident cover, home insurance, European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or private health cover is not always sufficient. An emergency abroad can be extremely expensive. If you need to be returned to the UK it could cost you thousands of pounds, unless you are adequately insured, don’t assume you have insurance, check and don’t assume it won’t happen to me because it does.
The British Embassy or High Commission are able to help in emergency situations but will not pay, something many Brit’s are unaware of.
Don’t forget it is in the terms and conditions of most cruise lines that it is a condition of contract that every passenger must have full and valid medical insurance.
I always have insurance, especially as I have seen what can happen without it, I do shop around to get mine and don’t just take the 1st policy I check, this used to be time consuming but now with the internet and money saving sites there are many options to what cover you can get and at what cost.
Cherry Davies August 13th, 2014 This entry was posted in Uncategorized
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