Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Insurance against natural disasters?

The flights are finally booked, the hotels have been reviewed to death, my credit card bill has plenty of reading on it and I can almost smell the sun cream.

There is plenty of build up time between now and holidays to get excited, but there is also one small issue (or large depending on your outlook): travel insurance.

For some, travel insurance is a must, it is essential and is booked at the same time as flights are booked and hotels reviewed. And it makes sense of course, because things can go wrong and you could be left paying a whole load of money for that 'budget trip'.

But still I ponder.

If I was to take a short trip to the UK or Europe (under 5 days) there is no way I would take out travel insurance. I would think of insurance as a silly additional cost.

Flights are of course delayed – but only by a few hours usually and there are always plenty of flight options available. Medically as an EU citizen I know I will be treated without question. I don't have medical insurance at home – so why should I panic just because I am travelling?

I have of course taken out travel insurance for holidays before – because it make sense, it is a fail safe, a peace of mind – a fall back.
But when travelling to Cuba a few years ago I was told I would not be covered there. The trip went ahead successfully, with no problems.
Then last year I went on a cruise to Israel. It was only at the last minute I remembered travel insurance, I was sitting in the airport about to depart and it sparked with me. I consulted with my travel partner and we decided to go on ahead. Nothing bad happened. We enjoyed the trip. We didn't need travel insurance.

I know I have been lucky, I have never been stranded for days in an airport, left in hospital with serious injuries or had all my stuff stolen. I also know the other stories the scary ones about thousands of euro of legal fees, medial treatment.

Some insurance companies are now covering against natural disasters. But I feel like travel insurance is putting a downer on my hols:

Passport – check
Money – check
Suncream – check
Insurance in case my boyfriend dies in a horrible complicated accident – check

Is travel insurance essential. Pic: telegraph.co.uk

So travel insurance – is it really essential?

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