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Date: 20/01/2012

Low Cost Travel Insurance

You may have bagged yourself a last-minute bargain and be delighted with the price of your holiday. But if you travel without insurance have you got any idea how much you could end up having to shell out, even for the most minor of mishaps?

While any good travel-insurance policy will cover your belongings and the financial cost of your holiday being cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, the most important – and expensive – thing to look after while you are away is you.

If you travel outside the UK, making sure you have insurance that covers medical costs is a necessity. The minimum amount the Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommend for Brits travelling overseas is £1 million for Europe and £2 million for anywhere else in the world.

If you are trying to keep costs down, it can be very tempting to skip insurance and hope for the best. However, even the smallest problem can end up costing more than the rest of your holiday, turning a bargain break into an expensive mistake.

An insect bite that needs medical treatment could set you back by around £200, while a simple ear infection – easily caught from swimming pools – will swipe £275 from your wallet. But if you require in-patient treatment the costs really start to rise. A straightforward case of gastroenteritis is likely to cost in the region of £1200 – a price which is going to make your bank account hurt as much as your stomach.

The UK does have a reciprocal agreement with some countries, which means that you can receive some healthcare either at a reduced cost or for free. However, it does not cover everything. And even if you are entitled to have your medical care paid for, in some countries you will have to pay for the treatment upfront first and then claim a refund.

The good news is that it is possible to avoid these potential pitfalls as it is easy to find low cost travel insurance, especially online.

Try weighing up the cost of paying for a premium that costs little more than the equivalent of a bag of sweets and a magazine compared to a medical bill potentially running into thousands. You'll find it's a very easy decision to make.