The 10 Most Awful Things That Can Happen When You Travel Without Insurance

| June 16, 2012

The 10 Most Awful Things That Can Happen When You Travel Without Insurance | We have all become very adept in recent years at ignoring information on travel websites. Filtering out the various drains on our bank accounts when arranging travel plans is a necessary skill if you want to travel for a price anywhere remotely near reasonable.

Unfortunately, it seems that in our haste to find the best bargains around we have begun to skimp on one very important thing indeed: travel insurance. A survey last year by ABTA found that one in five Brits travel without insurance, wrongly believing that the British government will pay for medical bills abroad. Another investigation by the Irish Times found that an incredible one in three Irish people travel without it. Shocking news when you consider the fact that Ryanair carries over 100,000 of them per month!

In a bid to end this dangerous culture, here are ten of the worst (and most common) things that can happen when people travel without insurance. The next time you see the ‘tick here to add insurance’ box and you shrug, “what’s the worst that could happen..?”, well now you’ll know.

1. There are an infinite number of pre-departure problems that could put a halt to your plans. A sick relative, a burst pipe or even a traffic jam on the way to the airport could cause huge problems forcing you to delay or even cancel your trip. Having travel insurance might not make everything better, but it might be a welcome conciliation.

2. If you manage to make it to the airport, congratulations, but this is just the beginning of airline annoyances. Every traveller’s worst nightmare is arriving at the airport and hearing the word delayed, or worse, cancelled. You don’t have to think much further back than this year alone with Icelandic ash-clouds, air traffic controller strikes and folding airlines to get an idea of how disruptive problems in the aviation industry can be.

3. Once you’ve made it to your destination and the seatbelt signs are off you can breathe a sigh of relief. Or perhaps not. Last year alone, just under 2 million suitcases in the US alone were mishandled, damaged or lost in various baggage blunders. Some people may be carefree enough to travel with only a spare t-shirt and a clean pair of underwear in their case, but for the majority of us, losing a suitcase when going on holiday is devastating. It’s easy to see the benefits of paying for some cheap baggage insurance when you think what you would do if you had to start your holiday with only the clothes you were standing in. And no deodorant. You can read reviews to see which travel insurance companies cover which services.

4. Let’s say you’ve played it safe and avoided flying by taking a cruise somewhere exotic. 16 million people did just that in 2011, but there are still things that go wrong. Bad weather causing cruising chaos and changes to the route, outbreaks of food poisoning onboard and even some cases of having to abandon ship have all been seen in the last year alone.

5. If the worst should happen whilst you are abroad and sickness strikes, you will naturally want the best care for you and your family. Getting full international travel insurance is really the only way you can rest easy whilst abroad and ensure you aren’t left limping, crawling or dragging yourself back home to your local doctor’s office.

6. Double bookings, lost reservations and issues with cleanliness are consistently the top three factors in people making insurance claims against horrendous hotels. What would you do without insurance if something did go wrong?

7. Google anything about tourists, travelling abroad and pickpockets and you will see the thousands upon thousands of pages dedicated to the topic, how not to get pick pocketed abroad. This is because it does happen. A lot. Tourists in unfamiliar surroundings are highly susceptible to being targeted by pick-pocketing parasites. Some loose change and a map from your back pocket is one thing, but how much would it cost to replace your phone, hotel key, car keys, iPod, wallet, credit cards…

8. If you’re more of an exotic traveller then you of all people should remember insurance. In researching this article I have discovered tales of surfers being bitten by sharks, people being chased across borders during the Arab Spring and even people running into the sea away from wildfires on private islands... Keep in mind that the rest of the world is not as safe or predictable as your home town and you must expect the unexpected. Can you imagine how expensive hospital bills would be to patch up a shark bite?!

9. Car companies normally insist on you taking out car or drivers insurance before you even start the engine, but making sure your travel insurance covers you for hiring a vehicle abroad is always a good idea. Even the tiniest scrape can be extortionately expensive for drivers, with rental companies looking to claw back every penny from the cheap deals they offer you.

10. Finally, one of the worst things that happens a lot more than you might think to travellers is becoming stranded abroad. Airlines go bust, countries declare civil war and passports get lost or stolen. You might think being stuck in a tropical climate somewhere far away would be fun, but money runs out, tempers fray and sleeping on the floor of an airport terminal while you wait for the embassy to get its act together is really no fun at all. Believe me.

So there we have ten of the worst things that go wrong for travellers abroad.  Whilst some of them may seem trivial, just mildly inconvenient or even humorous, making sure you have adequate travel insurance for you and your family is very important. It only takes a few clicks and cheap travel and baggage insurance deals are always out there, so make sure you get the right insurance for your next trip abroad.

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  1. sumon says:

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