Why travel insurance is a must

By Slow Dad - December 21, 2016

If you're injured or die holidaying then travel insurance gets you back home. Without it you (or your family) must pay. Get it for your Mum's sake.
Some people think travel insurance is a nuisance, or an idiot tax like whole of life insurance.

Generally when they form this opinion they are thinking about the minor inconvenience of a missed flight connection, a lost suitcase, or a broken camera lens.

Here is why they are wrong.

Travel insurance is a must

Life can change in an instant

Many years ago a former colleague named Violet went skiing in Aspen. She was talented at a great many things, but it turned out skiing wasn’t one of them.

On the morning of her third day on the slopes Violet crashed into the side of a large tree and came off second best. The next thing she knew it was two days later and she woke up in a hospital, unable to move her legs. Several surgeries later the doctors concluded that Violet would be confined to a wheel chair and pooping into a bag for the rest of her life. She was just 23 years of age.

No happily ever after, but it could have been so much worse

While this was a tragic outcome, it could have been worse. Thankfully Violet had taken out a global travel insurance policy, one that covered adventure sports such as skiing. The policy paid for all the super expensive US medical bills. It also paid for Violet to be repatriated back to the United Kingdom, where her journey had originated.

This last part was no small thing, as due to surgical complications Violet needed to lie down the whole flight, requiring the reservation of 4 seats, and be accompanied on the flight by a medical professional.

She was talented at a great many things, but it turned out skiing wasn’t one of them.

In many respects taking out travel insurance is as much for your family’s benefit as it is your own. Consider who will incur the cost of repatriating your body if you happen to die climbing in the Himalayas or trekking up Kilimanjaro. Your next of kin will have enough to deal with, without having to find potentially thousands of pounds to cover an expense you could have easily eliminated for the sake of a less than £150 annual global travel policy.

Violet had been a very popular member of the team, and her co-workers generously raised the funds required to purchase her a motorised wheel chair and to have her flat modified to accommodate the needs of someone now living in a wheelchair. She didn’t return to the site we worked at together, as catching overcrowded public transport into central London at peak hour in a wheelchair was never going to be a viable option.

Last I heard she had relocated to Australia, working remotely from a lovely house by the water on the Gold Coast.

So what?

Travel insurance certainly won’t pay for your home to modified to accommodate a disability, nor will it replace your income in the event you are no longer able to practice in your chosen profession. However it will at least get you home again so that you can worry about those things, rather than finding you stranded on the other side of the world facing immense medical bills.

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