We all work hard throughout the year so a well deserved holiday means that we can kick back and relax. Whether that means a family holiday in the sun, a winter skiing trip or a long weekend away, or whatever tickles your fancy. We all need time to recharge our batteries. But what would happen if your trip was uncontrollably cancelled, you were taken ill while away, or even worse, you died while on holiday?
It’s not something we like to think about, but with over 3,700 British holiday makers in hospital abroad every year, we do need to think about it. The recent tragic news of a young Manx Man who suddenly passed away while he was on holiday in the UK, has stunned local residents and has highlighted the need for adequate Travel Insurance.
Without it, the costs can be astronomical, if your holiday is cancelled due to factors outside of your control, such as illness prior to travelling, the cost is relatively high but if you are hospitalised while away you can be faced with a bill for thousands of pounds. Costs for repatriation (moving your body back from the holiday destination) is hugely expensive; £4,000 - £20,000 from the UK, £15,000 - £25,000 from Europe, £35,000 - £50,000 from America and over £50,000 for Australia. Without Travel Insurance, you or your family would have to foot the bill.
There are a few common misconceptions why people think that they don’t need Travel Insurance:
We have a reciprocal health agreement so I’m covered
Although we do have the reciprocal health agreement, this means that you will receive free hospital care if you are taken in while in the UK. The health agreement doesn’t cover repatriation and in a recent statement by the Health Minister, David Anderson, he reminded local residents that this wasn’t something that the Department of Health would pay for. In addition, if you’re going further afield then you will be required to pay any hospital bills there.
I’ve never needed to claim on Travel Insurance before, so why bother
Whether you have made a claim before or not there is still a risk of something happening, whether that’s the trip being cancelled, your holiday having to be cut short or tripping and breaking a leg while you’re away. Anything can happen but Travel Insurance covers you against these risks.
I don’t travel to exotic locations, so I don’t need Travel Insurance
In fact, it doesn’t matter where you’re travelling to things can go wrong. You could simply be travelling to Spain and be admitted to hospital and need to be flown home early. Alternatively, it may be that a family member back home is become seriously ill and you need to cut short your holiday.
My Credit Card has Travel Insurance included
That may well be true but Travel Insurance that comes free with your bank account, mortgage or credit card doesn’t always cover what you think it might. Make sure to read the small print of your policy to ensure that it includes what you need it to; the destination you are going to, any pre-existing medical conditions you may have, cancellation and curtailment, medical cover and hazardous activities are some of the things you may need to consider. Importantly for the Island is that it includes repatriation back to the UK, even when you’re in the UK.
Being on an Island also means that, while we are often sold UK policies, these are not always truly suitable for the Isle of Man. If you have a Travel Policy for your next holiday, or if you have annual cover in place, make sure that you check whether it covers you getting back to the Isle of Man, not just to the UK, as the extra cost can be significant!
Paul Burrows, Douglas Branch Manager for local Insurance specialist, Kestrel Insurance, commented “Travel Insurance is essential, the issue of repatriation is on many people’s minds, it’s something our clients are really worried about at the moment. As local experts we understand the needs of Island residents which is why, as with all of our policies, we make sure that all policies we provide are suitable for the Isle of Man.”