A motto I stand by, ‘If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel’.
My first appreciation for how important it is to have travel insurance was in my early days of backpacking and working overseas.I was working in the Austrian ski fields. It was Lech, where Princess Diana used to like to take her boys on ski trips. Some friends living in London at the time, flew over for a week’s ski holiday in Lech while I was working there.
On day one (unbelievable, I know) my friend Jeremy took a tumble down the slopes, wound up in the medical centre and was operated on that day for a serious ligament injury. He not only forfeited his ski holiday, but also was landed with a huge bill for the surgery and the special flight arrangements to get home. Fortunately Jeremy was smart, or at least his partner Vanessa was. She had purchased a travel insurance policy for the both of them for a relatively small sum before they travelled, and the expenses were all covered by this policy.
There are shocking stories of travellers without insurance and the inconceivable medical bills they are faced with. I was really glad to have had this experience when I first started to travel solo. I’ve never travelled without insurance. I never will travel without insurance.
[As a side note; if you are taking part in active sports or adventurous activities, make sure that the insurer will cover you for these activities in the event of an accident.]