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What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance could cover medical expenses, trip cancellation or delays, lost or stolen baggage and personal liability while you’re travelling. The type of cover you need will depend on the countries you’re visiting, the activities you’ll be doing and the length of your trip. You’ll also need to state whether you want travel insurance for a single trip, multiple trips or for backpacking.

Why do I need travel insurance?

While we all love to get away from it all, accidents do happen – as well as medical bills, travel insurance covers, delays, lost items and thefts. All these can prove costly if you’re not properly insured.

Almost 1 in 4 people don’t take out travel insurance for their holidays. However, they probably should have, when you consider that travel insurance providers paid out £370m in 591,000 claims last year, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

To give you some idea of the potential costs without insurance for emergency medical care, the ABI has examples of what has been paid in 2017 for claims that you’d have to pay if you had no insurance:

  • – £768,000 was paid to cover the medical costs of treating a traveller who suffered a stroke in the USA. This includes £60,000 for an air ambulance back to the UK.
  • – £125,000 to pay for surgery following a jet-ski accident while holidaying in Turkey
  • – £136,000 for treating complications following an insect bite in Chile. This included paying for a nurse to escort the traveller home.


So, whether you’re taking the family to the beach, a student on your gap year taking the trip of a lifetime or simply making the most of your retirement, there’s sure to be a policy to keep you covered.