When vacations go wrong

We are all becoming more and more adventurous – not just in the distances we are willing to travel, but also in the activities we indulge in once we arrive at our holiday destinations. Lying on the beach with a good book seems as passé as you can bungee jump, gallop a horse on the beach, ski or paraglide. But with excitement comes danger, especially if you don’t make sure you’re adequately covered by your travel insurance policy.

American Express Travel Insurance recently issued a warning stating that not all ski travel insurance plans cover inexperienced skiers going off-piste (even accompanied by a guide). This has become a particular concern following an unusually mild winter with little snowfall across Europe. Many holidaymakers ventured off-piste to find the best snowfall, resulting in twice as many accidents in the French Alps compared to the previous year. If you’re planning on skiing next year, it’s essential that you check your insurance policy before you go – you could be held liable for high costs if you have an off-piste accident and you discover your policy doesn’t cover you. covers. Flying you from the French Alps by air transport, for example, can cost as much as £2,000. Quite simply, you must notify your insurer if you are planning an activity that puts you at greater risk of injury.

According to recent research, 15% of Britons risk going abroad without any form of travel insurance, let alone ‘extreme sports’. Just think about some of the costs you could incur if you get sick or have an accident abroad and you might think twice before gambling with your health and finances. Even if you go on holiday in Europe, where your medical treatment may be covered by a European Health Insurance Card, you may still need to cover the costs of getting home to the UK after your accident.

Examples of typical medical costs abroad:

  • Air Ambulance (Eastern US Cost) – £30,000 – £35,000
  • Air Ambulance (Canary Islands) – £12,000 – £16,000
  • Scheduled flight, stretcher and doctor’s escort (Australia) – £15,000 – £20,000
  • Scheduled Flight, Seated Economy with Doctor’s Escort (Mediterranean) – £1,800 – £4,000

Source: health and wellness provider, First Assist However, tales of woe shouldn’t stop you from traveling far and wide and enjoying all the activities on offer once you get there. The following guide provides some tips on how to go on holiday while getting the best travel insurance at the best price for what you want to do abroad:

  1. If you are going to do something that is considered risky, such as skiing, canoeing, diving or climbing, you should tell your insurers and make sure your policy covers you in the event of an accident. Some activities, such as paragliding or ski jumping, may require a special policy.
  2. Don’t save on your travel insurance. If the worst happens and you get injured abroad, you want to know that you have the right insurance policy and company behind you to make the most of a bad situation. Check that the policy covers everything you need and choose one with a 24-hour international helpline.
  3. In addition to your possible holiday activities, you should ensure that your travel insurance covers other essentials such as medical and dental treatment, your return home, personal liability, missed departure, canceled flights, theft and lost luggage.
  4. Shop around for the best deal. Don’t just assume that your travel agent is the best option for travel insurance – check out the different insurance options and choose one that works for you both financially and practically.
  5. Make sure you bring all your travel insurance papers with you. If you need to make a claim, you have all your details to hand.
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One final piece of advice: once you’ve got your travel insurance, try to forget about the potential dangers and enjoy your vacation. After all, vacations are for having fun…