Travel insurance – the myths exposed

Travel insurance – the myths exposed

There are plenty of myths about travel insurance and they partly explain why some people don’t think it’s worth buying. But arranging travel insurance should be as vital a part of your holiday preparations as booking a flight and finding the right hotel.

Here we reveal the truth behind the myths and show why travel insurance isn’t such a bad idea after all.

‘I don’t need it’
A 2011 survey carried out by the travel agents’ association ABTA found that 20% of Brits didn’t take out insurance before going on holiday. Some may have forgotten in the rush to pack their bags but others probably thought there was little or no chance of them falling ill, having an accident, causing someone else injury or of having their possessions stolen. But these things can happen and if you don’t have a policy to cover you, you’ll have nothing to fall back on but your own resources.

‘The embassy will bail me out’
The helpful people at the British embassy or consulate may be able to offer you advice but they won’t pick up your hospital bills or buy you a ticket to fly home if the worst happens – however dramatic your story. Without insurance, the bills will have to be paid out of your own pocket.

‘My belongings don’t add up to much’
People tend to underestimate the value of what they’re carrying and think they won’t cost much to replace. But just add up the value of what you’ve got in your suitcase and you’ll soon find the opposite. A fancy digital camera, a couple of designer outfits for a night out, a Kindle and iPod, expensive perfumes or aftershaves and so on could all go missing with the rest of your luggage.

‘My home insurance policy will cover my belongings’
Some home insurance policies will cover your belongings if you’re on holiday in the UK, others if you’re abroad. But don’t assume yours will. And remember that cover for lost and stolen belongings makes up just one part of a travel insurance policy.

‘The European health card will pay my medical bills’
The 2011 ABTA survey revealed that 17% of people thought that the European Health Insurance Card would cover all their medical bills if they were injured or taken ill in Europe. But while the card does entitle you to some free treatment, don’t assume it will pay for everything. What’s free in the UK may not be free abroad and other treatment may only be available at reduced cost. Also, the card will not pay for your repatriation to the UK if you need or want treatment back at a British hospital.

‘A tour operator will take pity on me’
If you’ve bought a package holiday, tour operators have a duty of care towards you and will ensure you can get home in the event of a crisis. Whether it’s a volcanic ash cloud or an airline going bust, they will make arrangements to get you back and cover the cost. If you’re travelling independently, you’ve got no tour operator to fall back on. More and more travel insurance policies now provide independent traveller cover for these situations as standard.

Issued by Barclays
This article has been written for information and interest purposes only. The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author only, and should not be construed as advice or used to make financial decisions. Expert financial advice should always be sought and any links contained within this article are included for information purposes only.

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking (bank accounts and instant access savings accounts), credit cards, corporate banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services, with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 140,000 people. Barclays moves, invests and protects money and provides ISAs, home insurance, life insurance, a mortgage calculator, guides on how to buy shares and other services for over 49 million customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website