Having spent the last four years as a perpetual traveller I understand how frustrating it can be to find the right travel insurance policy.
Firstly, many travel insurers will only cover between 30-90 day trips, which is fantastic when you are planning your two-week annual break or thinking of heading off on a sabbatical from work for a couple of months but what about those, like us, who spend more time away from the UK than in it? Finding an insurance policy that supports our lifestyle is not easy. Not only do we have to consider that we are travelling, but we are also working abroad as part of that travelling experience and therefore we have many things to consider on top of the average holidaymaker.
For us, we are not simply looking for a cover that allows us to claim for bags being lost or flight delays, we also need to consider a policy that has extensive medical cover and personal possession protection. We need more than just cover for our passports and £500 worth of spending money. Then add to this the uncertainty of Brexit and what that will surely do to the European Health Care we are currently entitled to and you suddenly realise the options are extremely limited.
So, therefore, it is unsurprising that those living a similar lifestyle to ourselves often forfeit even taking cover because either the policies they found were unsuitable or far too expensive for them to justify.
And frequent travellers are not alone in this opinion.
When I speak to others that only require travel insurance for perhaps a week or two each year it is shocking to realise that they too opt not to take the required cover out before embarking on their latest adventure. In fact, in 2017, the number of holidaymakers choosing not to take insurance rose into the millions which, if you ask me, I think is absurd.
Of course, we can all believe that nothing awful is going to happen to us when we are travelling. To me, it seems absolutely ridiculous that people will buy pet insurance or insure their sky dish just in case anything happens to it and yet they refuse to cover themselves. People clearly do not realise the costs involved if they are taken ill while abroad.
Are You Prepared to Travel Without Insurance?
You may believe you are invincible but can you honestly say your bank balance is?
A single trip insurance policy on average in the UK costs around £31, which, when you break it down is £2.21 a day, if you are travelling for 14 days; less than the average price of a takeaway coffee from one of the many loved big-branded coffee shops that can be found on any High Street today.
Recent studies have shown however that those admitted to hospital while travelling on average pay between £1300 to £10,000 for the simplest of procedures while extreme medical conditions could reach a staggering £40,000 or more.
Does anyone really have that kind of money to simply throw away?
Who Is Less Likely to Buy Insurance?
Many studies will state that Millennials are least likely to buy travel insurance but they are not alone. It seems that the older generation is now more reluctant than ever to purchase cover because of the startlingly rise of the policies, with some facing costs of over £300. Which, when you think about it is a lot of money for something you may only want for a couple of weeks. Add that to the cost of a cheap winter break and that winter break suddenly becomes quite costly.
So what is the answer?
Unfortunately, there will always be companies out there looking to make the most out of their customers.
Just recently my own father became the latest victim of one such insurance company. Thinking he had the best possible cover, even paying extra to drive abroad, he embarked on a trip from the UK to Italy to visit us. Shortly after crossing the channel, however, things took a horrible turn and both my parents were lucky to walk away from what was a very serious car accident. Realistically, that should have been where their problems ended; the travel insurance company, however, had different ideas.
Refusal to pay or even help my parents was the number one aim of the insurance company and only now after nearly two months of my father fighting, looking into policy documents and searching the small print has he been able to gain a payout that he was quite rightly entitled to. To be truthful, watching my parents suffer was enough to realise why retirees don’t take insurance. Between the costs and the way they were spoken to I wouldn’t blame them if they never took it again. However, that would be foolish. What if one of them needed medical care? What if they needed to be repatriated due to illness? The costs would simply spiral out of control.
The answer, therefore, is for people to stop using the comparison sites where opting for the cheapest cover seems to be the norm and instead fully researching all of their options.
A standard travel insurance policy does not for example give us the required cover we need for working abroad for ten months consecutively each year. Many policies will only cover us for between 30 and 185 days which is nowhere near long enough. Due to our ages, we are also discouraged from certain insurance companies who prefer to insure the average 18-30 backpacker who is travelling with limited personal possessions. That means that trying to find the perfect cover for us takes time and will often result in a higher price tag simply because of the equipment we carry with us in order to do our ‘day job’ and because of our ever-increasing age and graying hair.
Ironically, however, we are also limited the other way. We are not old enough for some policies. Obviously, don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that I am not quite at that age where over 50 policies such as Insure4Retirement will take me on, but I do find that the 35-50 market is becoming increasingly forgotten about. Perhaps this is because certain studies state that those of the Generation X era travel less than any other, however like many born in either the late 70’s or early 80’s who are suppose to fall into this category we don’t conform to normal standards and a new thought process needs to take place.
Until such a time where a new niche travel policy is created for our age group and needs specifically in mind, we will continue to search the internet for the best possible solution for both our travel and work-based needs.
Do you know of a travel provider that specifically insures the 35-50 market? Perhaps you currently have a travel insurance policy that meets our needs and would like to share the name of the insurance company with us. If so, I would love to hear more.
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