Is Travel Insurance Worth It? We Have The Answers
It’s one of those things you don’t really want to fork out for, but you’re too scared to not have. Travel Insurance … to have or not to have, that is the question!
Travel Insurance can be costly and the chances are you won’t need to use it. So is it an unnecessary expense? Is it something you can forego and enjoy spending that money on something else? What are the risks of not having it?
Here’s the thing. Some cruises (especially expedition voyages travelling to isolated destinations) won’t let you onboard without showing proof of your travel insurance. Why? Simply because in isolated parts of the world, medical facilities are not always readily available. If you’re in the outer islands of Tahiti for example and you have a medical emergency, you’ll need a “medevac” which is transportation to hospital in a helicopter or plane, often using military services. And that’s before any hospital bills start.
If you need to be flown home (and your partner with you), this doesn’t come cheap. There’s also the medical bills themselves and accommodation for your partner if necessary. And these add up very, very quickly.
Many people think that for destinations such as the Pacific Islands, it doesn’t really matter. What are the chances of something going wrong? Whilst the vast majority of tourists will return home happy and unscathed, there are those who have come to grief on scooters, had a car accident (and let’s face it, seatbelt and car seat regulations aren’t always as tough as ours) or other such mishaps.
It’s not just medical cover that you need to consider however. For cruisers especially, loss of luggage and flight delays are biggies. We make a point of booking our clients to stay at least one night prior to their cruise departing, just to safeguard against any flight delays or disruptions but if you choose to fly in and connect immediately with your cruise, you run the risk of missing the boat (so to speak) if your flight is delayed. It’s then up to you to join the cruise at the next port – sometimes easier said than done!
If your luggage goes missing en route to your destination, travel insurance is a godsend. You don’t want to be on a cruise for a week or two without your luggage … and having to buy items either onboard at inflated prices, or spend your on-shore time searching for clothes. With travel insurance, you can purchase the necessary items prior to leaving the port. Not ideal – but definitely better than nothing!
So when deciding to take travel insurance, the next question is: which company? This is important.
Sometimes you can get free travel insurance if you pay for (or part-pay for) your holiday. Our advice here is to check the conditions very, very carefully. Get hold of a policy from an insurance company specialising in travel insurance and compare the inclusions. You wouldn’t be the first to think you’re fully covered, and then find there’s a bit of a gap, or a hefty excess that you weren’t aware of. In isolated areas, you need the most comprehensive travel insurance you can get. Our thoughts: if you’re ever in the position of needing urgent medical care overseas, you want to be in the hands of the experts who have it all covered.
Also, check the policy for its conditions on pre-existing medical conditions. These vary from company to company – some will charge for anything and everything, some refuse to cover anything related to a pre-existing, and some will cover pre-existing free of charge providing nothing has changed for a period of time. Check these carefully and be sure to declare any conditions you may have or, if you need to claim, you may not be covered.
Basically, it comes down to this: Travel insurance is not cheap, but can you afford to be without it if something goes wrong?
Let us know your thoughts on the subject; stories how travel insurance saved you or if it didn't - email us now