The terrible news of Tom Moss, paralysed and stranded in Thailand after a moped accident, is yet another tragic wake-up call for anyone risking a trip abroad without travel insurance. Tom’s policy ran out while he was still exploring Thailand, leaving him unprotected, and his family with a huge fundraising task to get him home.
It is believed that Tom was unaware his policy had expired. However, leading independent travel insurance specialist, insurewithease.com, is asking whether holidaymakers know that there can be restrictions when it comes to extending travel insurance.
Sarah Findlay, Online Marketing Manager for insurewithease.com explains: “Before travellers decide to extend their trip, it’s important to think about how this will affect their travel insurance cover.
“It is usually possible to extend travel cover whilst overseas (up to the maximum number of days that the policy allows) as long as the policy has not actually expired. However, if the policy expires and the policyholder then tries to extend it, this will not be possible due to licensing laws that prevent most insurers from issuing a new policy to somebody who is outside the UK. Travellers should also be aware that if their insurer is unable to provide cover for the full number of days that they wish to extend their trip, they will be advised to return home on the original return date, as they will be uninsured after this.
“Buying a short policy and extending it later may seem a good way to save a few pounds, but it could leave you in serious debt if you forget or are unable to extend it. As Tom Moss’ case has demonstrated, getting back to the UK if you are seriously ill can cost tens of thousands of pounds.
“Luckily for Tom, generous friends, family and even complete strangers made aware of his plight have raised over £50,000 to pay for some of the treatment and his transportation home. Unfortunately not all of us are likely to have the media exposure to pay for our repatriation, should we need it, and this is where travel insurance could save the day.
“Anyone planning a trip and unsure of their return date should speak to their insurer. It may be that the standard policy will not cover longer trips, however, there are a number of alternatives. For example, the insurewithease.com Backpacker policy covers trips of up to one year.
“It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to travel insurance, as you do not want to find yourself on the other side of the world with a broken leg or lost luggage and no insurance.”
The insurewithease.com Backpacker Travel Insurance policy offers tailor-made and flexible cover for backpackers, including:
· All destinations worldwide can be covered (unless FCO advises against travel)
· Up to 12 months cover
· Cover available for up to 100 hazardous activities at four different levels
· For backpackers up to the age of 45 years
· 24 hour worldwide emergency & medical assistance