Ignoring this travel tip could bankrupt you
If you’re planning your holidays this year, make sure you have adequate travel insurance. Ignoring this advice could bankrupt you or leave you with a huge bill.
What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance covers things like medical expenses, trip cancellation or delays, lost or stolen baggage and personal liability while you’re travelling. The type of cover you need depends on the countries you’re visiting, the activities you’ll be doing on your travels, e.g. winter sports or summer holidays, and the length of your trip. Your age and health will also be a factor and you may need to find specialists providers. You’ll also need to state whether you want travel insurance for a single trip, multiple trips or for backpacking, as cover may vary and typical policies cover trips of up to 30 days at a time.
Why do I need travel insurance?
We love to travel, but accidents do happen, which can incur medical bills, delays, lost items and thefts. All of these unforeseen events can prove very costly if you’re not properly insured.
Whilst it sounds like a no brainer to take out insurance, which can sometimes cost as little as £10 for a short trip, 1 in 4 people do not take out any travel insurance for their holidays, according to Compare The Market.com. When you consider the minimal cost of a policy and the fact that travel insurance providers paid out £370m in 591,000 claims last year, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The potential costs of travelling without insurance for emergency medical care are horrendous. The ABI has examples of what has been paid in 2017 for claims that you would have to pay for yourself (in some cases, on the spot or before medical treatment) if you had no insurance cover:
- £768,000 was paid to cover the medical costs of treating a traveller who suffered a stroke in the USA.
- This includes £60,000 for an air ambulance back to the UK.
- £125,000 to pay for surgery following a jet-ski accident while holidaying in Turkey.
- £136,000 for treating complications following an insect bite in Chile. This included paying for a nurse to escort the traveller home.
I have seen first-hand what happens when people have no insurance. Two friends of mine had family deaths on holiday in Spain. One family had travel insurance, but the other did not because he was driving instead of flying to Spain. It cost the family a fortune to fly the body back home and pay all the handling charges.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re taking the family to the beach, a student on your gap year taking the trip of a lifetime or simply making the most of your retirement, you must find a travel insurance policy to keep you covered.
As I say in my book, the wealthy know how to preserve their money and protect themselves against liability. As I’ve said in previous podcasts and in my book, making money and keeping money are two different skills.
Make sure you watch your back because you never know what’s coming your way.