Every year, millions of people go on holiday around the world and they’re almost totally uninsured while doing so.
Just why that happens is sometimes a mystery but more commonly studies indicate that it’s one of the following:
- Trying to save a few dollars on holiday costs
- Being unaware of just what can go wrong and how much it’ll cost if something does
- Assuming, usually wrongly, that someone else ‘somewhere’ is covering them
- Thinking that “it’ll never happen to me“.
In a sense, there’s nothing at all wrong with this. That’s providing that you have appropriately weighed up the risk factors and decided that the typically small amount of money you’ll be saving is worth the risk of spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars should something go wrong.
If that’s your decision though then fair enough – and let’s all hope that your luck holds.
Deciding to save money WITHOUT knowing the risks though is dangerous.
For example, let’s assume you’re staying with your family in some luxury holiday accommodation. Maybe you’ve been unlucky and managed to break an ankle, meaning you can’t fly back with them to home base for a couple of days.
So, you’ve lost your flight and will need another. Perhaps a member of your family has stayed on with you to help you travel home in due course. All told, that’s going to be another flight cost plus their extra nights in a hotel.
Before you even blink, you could be facing a bill of thousands of dollars. Are you sure you don’t need insurance?
Someone else is covering you
This is often heard in the context of people thinking, for example, that their personal property household cover will also cover things such as their luggage and possessions when on holiday.
Well, it might but don’t count on it! That’s not something you’ll want to discover if your luggage is say lost or stolen and you claim on your household policy only to be told that your claim is invalid because your goods were outside your property’s boundaries.
The moral here is clear. Never make assumptions about what any existing policies MIGHT cover. Instead, check and if in doubt, call your policy provider and ask.
If you think about it, travel insurance wouldn’t exist if other existing policies already provided such cover to the policyholder.
A slight variable here though is automatic travel insurance that’s sometimes available from financial institutions or credit card companies. That may be OK but remember to read the cover details carefully. If it’s free then it’s very likely to be limited in its protection.
It’ll never happen to me
In the UK in 2015, almost 500,000 holiday insurance claims were paid out by the travel insurance industry.
If that doesn’t convince you that travel problems are not just a freakishly rare occurrence, then nothing will.
Accidents, flight delays, thefts, cancellations due to personal reasons, injuries – these things do happen. While we all sincerely hope they won’t happen to you, it’s worth asking yourself the question just how you’d cope if they did and you had no insurance to help?
Maybe you’re a naturally lucky person and also have no doubt that your luck won’t one day run out when on holiday. If you’re not totally convinced of that though, it might be worth thinking again about travel insurance.