In the article that follows, you’ll see some no-holds barred answers to some of the thornier frequently asked questions on the subject of family holiday insurance.
Is it really a good investment?
Well, if you assume investment means something that is likely to yield a positive return, then most forms of insurance probably don’t qualify. However, a better way of thinking about this might be to play the ‘what-if’ game. For example, if you were badly hurt in an accident while on holiday in the USA and had to find the money for an air ambulance back to the UK, would you have the $35,000-$45,000 required to pay for it? If the answer to that is no, you might then have to ask yourself another question: do you feel lucky? If the answer to that one is also no, suddenly family holiday insurance starts to look like a pretty sensible thing to consider. Of course, nothing in that suggests that it wouldn’t be good to look around to find the best cover you can get for the most cost-effective price.
Surely this is a waste of time and money if I am only visiting a European country?
The origin of this view is usually a mistaken belief that the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will cover all of your expenses if you are unwell when in a European Union country. Sadly, it won’t. What it will do is allow you to access the same emergency medical services that will be provided free of charge to citizens of the country you are visiting.
That’s great, yet it might not be the whole story because:
• it won’t cover things like medical repatriation to the UK;
• things that might be normally regarded as free in the United Kingdom might be chargeable in other European countries;
• the EHIC won’t do anything for you at all in situations such as lost luggage, theft, travel delays and so on.
Insurance companies never want to pay out when you claim anyway, do they?
Whether you believe that the person providing your policy wants to pay out in the event of a claim or not isn’t really the key issue. The question is, are your claim circumstances covered by your policy? If they are, your provider will typically pay out without there being any major issue. It’s really a myth that companies look to find reasons to ‘wriggle off the hook’. However, it’s a sad fact of life that the typical policy provider will need to deal with significant numbers of fraudulent claims. As a result, it might not be unreasonable for them to ask for further information and validation of a claim in certain circumstances. This is quite different to them trying to find excuses to avoid paying out.
I’ve never needed family holiday insurance before, so why should I need it now?
It is to be sincerely hoped that your good fortune in the past continues in your future life.
Yet once again, the real question is – what if it doesn’t? The cost of you or your family suffering a misfortune on holiday or when you are travelling might be relatively modest, and perhaps you’ll be able to shrug it off in the grand scheme of things. Once again though, if the cost were perhaps tens of thousands of pounds, how would you cope?
If you can’t answer that question clearly in your own mind then it might be sensible to look closely at family holiday insurance.