If you are lucky enough go on holiday regularly or more than once over the course of a year than it is probably wise to take out annual travel insurance rather than single trip cover. Standard UK standard travel insurance known as the “E111″ (E one eleven) is extremely limited and provides less than adequate cover in certain circumstances. Research has shown that around 43% of people in the UK don’t take out adequate medical insurance when they take short breaks abroad and 13% of travellers overall do not have insurance when they travel.
The E111 does cover you against medical expenses or at least discounted services in the event of an emergency should you require treatment, medication, or surgery abroad, however often this cover does not include treatment in private medical centres. Outside the UK it is not uncommon for countries to have many competing private emergency medical groups, the E111 does not cater for treatment by these private sector institutions and can leave unsuspecting travellers surprisingly extortionate medical bills to pay. If you have to be flown home to a specialist in the UK for treatment this can cost as much as £7000, the cost of an accompanying private nurse or doctor and extra flight space can drive up bills spectacularly and coupled with the price of the treatment and emergency assistance you received prior to the flight the total bill for medical expenses can be as high as £25,000.
The easiest way to avoid being in this unpleasant situation is take out proper medical cover in the form of Annual Travel Insurance. If you are travelling through a travel agent or tour operator insurance packages can often to be thrown in with your holiday bundle but it is probably still wise to have the extra cover that annual insurance provides.
Annual Travel insurance can provide other valuable aids to ensure that your holidays are enjoyable such as cover for lost Money, Travellers Cheques or Credit Cards, Cancellation cover to pay for costs should you need to unexpectedly curtail your trip and return home early for what ever reason, and protection for the loss of baggage or belongings.
Many policies can also include cover for activities holidays such as Skiing, Snowboarding or Scuba Diving excursions. Some will even include Off-Piste cover for the more adventurous types.