One of the most common reasons people offer to justify not purchasing comprehensive travel insurance is that the money they save each year would more than cover the cost of any medical treatment in future, should they need it. |
At face value, this argument has siren-like qualities of attraction. After all, we all like to think we’re being ‘smarter’ than most other people and doing things that will save us money.
Yet how justified is that assumption?
Trivial Accidents Are Expensive
Let’s consider the notions that a) accidents aren’t common and b) that small accidents don’t cost much in terms of medical treatment.
Firstly, official insurance figures show nearly half a million Britons last year were reimbursed on their travel insurance policies for one thing or another. The conclusion really must be that these events aren’t as rare as hen’s teeth.
Secondly, figures released by Travel Supermarket should make salutary reading for those who believe that small accidents don’t cost a lot in medical terms. To quote just a few real-life statistical averages:
• The most common accident abroad involves the use of a motorcycle of some sort. The average treatment cost for such an accident is a staggering £7,000!
• The second most frequent accident cost arises from cycling accidents at an eye-watering £6,200 average treatment cost.
• Injuries arising from tripping or falling on stairs come in third place in terms of frequency and there the average medical treatment cost is a shade under £2,500.
Do keep in mind that these are averages. That means some people will have been facing much higher treatment costs than those outlined above.
Even a quick glance at some of those sums above should tell you one thing about comprehensive travel insurance – it just cannot be safely left to being a question of cost-saving.
The typical average cost of comprehensive travel insurance is about £33, depending upon things such as where you’re travelling to, for how long, your planned activities, etc. If you travel 3 times without cover and without incident then you might congratulate yourself that you’ve saved £100 over the period. That’s fine.
However, that £100 is going to suddenly become insignificant if you fall off your bike while cycling in the USA or Canada and find yourself facing a bill for £18,000 even though you suffered relatively minor injuries. In passing, that’s a real-life example too.
To make the point, you’d need to travel without needing to spend money on emergencies such as medical treatment or stolen luggage, for all of about 30 years before you’d have saved enough in premium avoidance to cover even an unrealistically modest medical bill abroad of just £1,000.
Do You Feel Lucky?
It’s to be sincerely hoped that you never need to make any sort of call on medical treatment when travelling abroad. Whether travelling on business or pleasure, none of us usually has any intention of spending some of our time exploring the inside of a hospital or clinic.
Regrettably though, none of us can count on the certainty of bad luck passing us by.
Whatever other criteria you might apply to a consideration of comprehensive travel insurance, don’t let cost-saving be one of them.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in comprehensive travel insurance policies. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.
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