Misconceptions About Travel Insurance

Misconceptions about travel insurance

Published 04 August 2017  |  Last updated 19 January 2021

Whether you're taking a weekend break in Paris or spending a number of weeks exploring Asia, travel insurance should form part of your preparations.

In case the unexpected were to happen, it is important that people are covered by a travel insurance policy. However, you may have heard conflicting information about travel insurance which could put you off looking into policy details or purchasing a policy at all. 

Here we present some common misconceptions about travel insurance that aren't necessarily true.

Travel insurance seems unnecessary...

While it's great to be optimistic, travel insurance is necessary. 

Research conducted by SITA found that 24.8 million bags were mishandled in 2018, meaning that bags were temporarily misplaced or permanently lost. Statistics such as these highlight how important it can be for people to be prepared for such situations. 

While many jetsetters travel with no complications each year, there's no guarantee that this will always be the case. Travel insurance could help to cover the costs of a number of complications that may arise, such as cancellation of your trip due to unforeseen circumstances, delayed or cancelled flights or a medical emergency.

Do I need travel insurance with an ehic?

I don't need travel insurance... I've got an EHIC!

If you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), you may think that this will give you the same medical cover as a travel insurance policy, however this is not the case. Your EHIC or GHIC may allow you to access the same care as the locals of the country when travelling around the EU. While we have access to free healthcare in the UK via the NHS, this is not the case in all EU countries, and you may still be expected to pay for any medical treatment you receive. 

Furthermore, even in countries where free access to medical care is offered such as Spain, you may find yourself taken to hospital by a private ambulance service. This would not be covered by the terms of the EHIC or GHIC, nor would treatment at a private medical facility. 

In some cases, you may be entitled to a reduced rate or a refund for your care or transportation, but you are likely to have to part with cash at some point in the process.

It's also important to realise that now the UK has left the European Union, neither the EHIC nor the GHIC will provide cover for travel in non-EU countries such as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Lichtenstein. 

And finally, a travel insurance policy can provide cover for more than just medical treatment. Many providers will even be able to help by offering advice regarding where to go for treatment or how to get home if necessary; this can be particularly valuable in a country where you don't speak the language. And without travel insurance, you may not be covered if your trip gets cancelled or delayed, if you lose your luggage, or encounter any legal issues while on your holiday.

Travel insurance means I can access care at any hospital

Many travel insurance policies will only offer cover for medical treatment at public or state hospitals, with treatment at private hospitals needing their approval.

In many countries such as Spain, you may be referred to a private clinic for treatment. If this happens, get in touch with your insurance provider as soon as possible to let them know. You could be left with a hefty medical bill to pay if you don't gain approval for the use of a private clinic from your provider.

It's only for adrenaline junkies

If you were to assume that travel insurance only provides cover for medical emergencies, you may think you only need it if you are planning on enjoying extreme sports such as skiing, mountain climbing or some other activity that could be considered a risk or danger. 

While travel insurance can help to cover medical costs should you need treatment while abroad, it can also help in other situations such as a trip cancellation, travel delays or lost luggage. These are things that could affect anybody, so travel insurance should be considered a good investment for everyone, whether you're a thrill seeker or not.

At Compare Cover, we give you the tools to compare travel insurance quotes online, so you can find the right policy to suit your requirements. You can find policies to cover single trips, multiple annual trips or even backpacker excursions.


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