Everyone loves a vacation and nowadays
many of us choose to visit places in countries other than our
own. This has led to a rise in the number of people who engage
in international travel and consequently travel insurance is
now big business. No matter where you go you need travel insurance
in case you or a member of your family is sick or has an accident
while you are away. Travel insurance will cover medical bills
up to a given amount. Insurance also gives you some rights if
your trip is canceled and replacement luggage if yours is lost – most
policies also insure you against theft while you are abroad and
some will even replace stolen travelers checks almost immediately.
What type of travel insurance you
might need depends to a large extent on where you are going.
If you are going to France then insurance is a good idea. You
need to know what things your insurance covers and for how much.
If you live in the UK you can now get an EU health card which
entitles you to basic primary care, this will not cover a stay
in hospital should you have an accident – so
you may also need medical insurance. If you live in a country where
a visa is needed before you can enter France then it is also a
prerequisite that you have medical insurance. You can get short
term medical insurance which will cover you on trips from fifteen
days to one year duration. If you travel to France on a regular
basis then it might be advisable to have annually renewable medical
When you buy your insurance look for a plan that covers not only
illness and emergencies, but that also has a small allowance (usually
around $100) in case you need dental treatment while you are away.
You should also check that you are covered if you need to be flown
home for further medical treatment. Always shop around before you
buy because rates on comparable insurance plans can differ dramatically
between providers. Pre-existing conditions, pregnancy and routine
vaccinations are rarely if ever covered by these policies. The
other thing that you should be aware of is that most policies will
not cover injuries incurred while you were under the influence
of drugs or alcohol.
It is important that you should be aware of all the things that
your insurance does not cover, so read the fine print very carefully.
If you are unlucky enough to have an accident, or require hospital
treatment while you are in France make sure that you keep all of
the receipts. You should also make sure of the time limit for your
claim, some insurers state that you have to claim within a week
or two of an accident. If you are outside the time frame then the
company may not pay up.