Professionals who work in the travel industry are quick to say that travellers who cannot afford to pay for travel insurance cannot afford to travel at all. This may sound like a broad statement; however, the cost of not having travel insurance can be financially crippling. According to Sainsbury’s Finance, the average cost of receiving hospital treatment when abroad was £2,040 in 2010.
Inpatient Care Abroad Is Costly
Depending on where you plan to travel, not having travel insurance can hurt you financially. Not having travel insurance when in the United States is the most costly, forcing UK travellers to pay an average of £6,000 per hospital visit. Other countries were also expensive, including:
- Thailand: The average hospital stay in Thailand cost £2,750
- Canary Islands: The average hospital stay in the Canary Islands was £2,500
Bulgaria was the least expensive, coming in at an average cost of £500 per stay.
Travel Insurance Is for the Old and the Young
Young travellers are more likely to forego travel insurance because they believe that their good health and vitality is good enough “insurance” for their trip. What they often do not realize is that a travel insurance policy can cover a lot more than medical expenses (which we will discuss in a moment).
Older individuals are more likely to invest in travel insurance than younger individuals are. Some have experienced not having travel insurance in the past and understand the financial consequences, but most just are not willing to take the risk.
The problem with travel insurance for older individuals is that it takes more research and more work to be able to find an affordable and fair policy. Fortunately, as our older population continues to stay healthier and live longer than ever before, finding cheap travel insurance for people over age 65 with medical conditions is possible. Many insurance companies even specialize in offering comprehensive policies to older individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.
To find the right policy for you, you should:
- Use an Insurance Comparison Website: There are travel comparison websites that are dedicated to travel insurance for seniors. These websites will allow you to compare different prices, policies, pre-existing medical conditions and more.
- Visit a Travel Agent: A travel agent is a good next step should you not find a suitable policy online.
- Speak With Other Older Travellers: If you know of any older friends or family members who have just recently returned from a trip, ask them who their insurance provider was and if they were happy with their policy.
Why You Need Travel Insurance for Your “Staycation”
The cost of travelling is continuing to rise, which is why many individuals are now choosing to have a “staycation.” A “staycation” is a great way to save money while exploring your own country or area. However, what you may think was going to be an inexpensive holiday can become costly if you do not have the right travel insurance.
Travel Insurance: It Is More Than Just Medical Coverage
If you are planning a trip within the UK, then having travel insurance with medical coverage is unnecessary, as the NHS will cover your expenses. If you become ill during your holiday or if you suffer a fall, you will not be left facing a gigantic medical bill.
But what happens if you become sick before your planned travel date and have to cancel? Or what if your expensive camera and equipment is stolen from your hotel room or if you lose a prized piece of jewellery?
Different Types of Travel Coverage
When choosing the right travel insurance policy for you and your companions, read the fine print. Some policies may be basic and only include cancellation coverage while others will include extras. You may choose to keep some of these extras or you may choose to eliminate some to reduce your policy costs.
Cancellation and Curtailment Coverage
The majority of UK travel insurance policies for younger and older individuals include coverage for trip cancellation and curtailment. If you find that you must cancel your holiday or cut it short, your policy will cover your expenses.
- If you had a hotel reservation, you would be reimbursed for the nights you would not be staying in the hotel
- If you rented a holiday cottage, you would be reimbursed for the time you were not present
- Airfare, train fare, and bus fare would be reimbursed
Depending on the length of your trip or how many days it will be shortened by, this can easily save a single traveller hundreds of pounds.
Delayed or Missed Departure Coverage
Missing a flight, a ferry or a train is frustrating enough without insurance. When you have missed or delayed departure insurance, you may be able to make a claim and recoup your losses. Be sure to read the fine print, as many travel insurance companies within the UK do not cover internal flights.
Hospital Transfer Coverage
While those planning a staycation within the UK do not need medical insurance, what they will find useful is hospital transfer coverage. When included in a policy, someone who has fallen ill or who has become injured in another part of the country will have their transfer to a hospital closer to home paid for by their insurance company.
Baggage and Belongings Coverage
Should items be stolen or go missing while travelling throughout the UK or abroad, baggage and belongings coverage will protect you financially. The policy will also insure you against damage, though policyholders will need to prove that their own negligence was not the cause of the damage.
A number of individuals in the UK will have baggage and belongings covered under their home contents insurance. However, you may still choose to include baggage and belongings coverage in your travel insurance policy in order to keep your no-claims discount. Your home contents insurance may also not include holiday equipment, such as tents, sleeping bags, fishing equipment, and more.