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Date: 31/01/2013

Can you afford to travel without insurance

Travelling without it a calculated risk or just downright foolish? Many people travel to destinations in Britain, Europe and further afield without paying for travel insurance – they think they don't need the cover and fail to recognise the risk they are taking!

What if you have a heart attack whilst on holiday in San Diego? Without medical cover, several months in hospital could see your intensive care bills rise to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Returning to the UK for treatment could see you no better off, with the estimated cost of an air ambulance ranging from £35 – 45,000!

For most people, if things go wrong on holiday, the prospect of having to pay for an extra train or flight to get home isn't the end of the world. After all, isn't it true that you can never be sure your travel insurance will pay out when you need it? This won't be the case if you take out comprehensive cover with a reliable, leading insurer who is able to offer testimonials from satisfied customers.

The Foreign Office's advice to those considering travelling without insurance is, don't risk it. Whilst some travel insurance policies may not cover you against loss or theft, if, for example you have consumed alcohol when the incident happens (a fairly common clause in travel insurance policies), it is essential to have travel insurance in place in case of medical emergencies. Any illness or accident requiring medical treatment or hospitalisation abroad, or an air ambulance or flight back to the UK could incur huge bills. A doctor-escorted flight home from Australia could set you back £20,000!

Of course, you can tailor your travel insurance to suit your needs. From a comprehensive policy which covers you for everything from medical treatment, stolen or lost luggage and holiday cancellation or delays to a more basic package, which perhaps just covers you for medical emergencies, or whatever else you feel is essential, most insurance providers are happy to offer cheaper premiums for more basic policies.

Generally, travel insurance is available cheaply and many high street banks offer it as part of their premium current account deals. When booking a flight or package holiday, insurance is often included for just a few pounds extra. You really can't afford to travel without it, so make sure you are covered!