Don’t travel unprotected by insurance – please!

User Written by Trevor Keidan on June 08, 2017.

Don’t travel unprotected by insurance – please!

With any kind of insurance there are always the naysayers who believe that it is a waste of money. While I can understand why they feel this way, I wholeheartedly disagree with them. Not having insurance is fine…just as long as you never have the need to make an expensive claim.

When it comes to travel insurance, people often justify the waste of money line of reasoning by arguing that the amount it would cost them to replace lost or stolen items or purchase a new ticket home if travel plans go awry is not significant enough to justify buying a travel policy each time they go anywhere. The savings they make on not having insurance each time will balance out the cost when something does go wrong.

Except that travel insurance doesn’t just cover you if your bag gets stolen or your flight gets cancelled – (admittedly neither of these scenarios are likely to ruin you financially). It is when an accident or medical emergency occurs that there is so much more at stake.

The optimism bias, also known as ‘the illusion of invulnerability’, is the tendency of individuals to underestimate the likelihood they will experience adverse events, such as being in a serious car crash or contracting malaria on holiday. The optimism bias is widespread with many of us believing that we are less likely to experience negative events than other people. While this can be essential to us actually being able to live our lives without being in constant fear, it can also lead to poor decision-making. Like taking the risky decision to travel without the protection of a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

Imagine for a minute that you are holidaying in Bangkok and are travelling in a taxi which is involved in an accident. According to UN figures, Thailand’s roads are the second deadliest in the world, so it’s not that far-fetched a scenario. You break both legs and suffer a severe traumatic brain injury requiring intensive care, surgery, and lengthy hospitalisation and treatment stretching over a period of months. A room in intensive care in Bumrungrad Hospital costs upwards of $500 per night for starters. Add to that the fees for each surgery, drug and bandage, physiotherapy appointments and so on and you can see how easy it is to rack up a monumental medical bill. And don’t think that getting an air ambulance home so you can get treatment on the NHS will work out any cheaper!

It’s not hard to find real-life horror stories of people in situations exactly like this. Have a look online and you’ll see all too many examples of foreigners stuck in hospitals abroad, while desperate relatives try to scrape together the money for treatment and/or repatriation - either by begging friends and relatives or setting up Gofundme pages to appeal to the kindness of strangers.

It’s not all about finance though. While bankruptcy is one possible outcome, even worse is the possibility of treatment being refused if the bills can’t be paid. In a worst case scenario, this could result in death. Is that a risk you’re willing to take for the relatively minor cost of being properly insured?

If you are travelling anywhere, at any time, for business or for pleasure, travel insurance is an absolute must – especially for those without international private medical insurance. While I understand that none of us want to pay for something that we don’t really need, not buying travel insurance is an enormous gamble with the direst of possible consequences. Premiums are small but the risk is great and simply not worth taking.

If you’d like to talk to professional with access to a wide range of policies with all the major insurance providers, get in touch with us today at We'd be happy to advise you on the best options for you.

Trevor Keidan

Trevor Keidan

Posted on June 08, 2017 in Insurance.