Sky-diving in Dubai or trekking in the Himalayas?

“Budding Lara Crofts and Indiana Joneses need to ensure their insurance policy covers them for all activities and sports in which they plan to take part, which may mean upgrading the policy to add the necessary cover,” says Lee Taylor, Chief Sales Officer for Allianz Global Assistance UK. “Anyone planning a trek through the Andes or up to Everest’s base camp needs to check they can be covered for high altitude walking. Alternatively, camel trekking in Morocco might not be covered as standard and could catch out some travellers if they don’t think to add it. But with so many activities available on holidays these days, it could be something as common as hiring a scooter to tour beaches in Portugal or kite-surfing in the South of France that many incorrectly assume is automatically covered by their travel insurance. Our advice to travellers is: don’t find out the hard way that you’re not covered, get covered before you depart.

“A broken leg, for example, could cost tens of thousands of pounds in medical treatment and emergency assistance fees – especially if an individual suffers medical complications as a result of the break, or the accident happened in a remote location. Too many people leave it to chance and assume that their travel insurance will pick up the bill. It’s always best to check that all planned activities are covered, and to take note of any requirements. Risking a trip without proper cover could cost travellers dearly, not to mention the anguish of being stuck far from home without the support a good insurer can provide.”

Allianz Global Assistance also urges holidaymakers planning a European trip to ensure they carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with them for essential cover. An EHIC allows the holder to access state-provided healthcare in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or sometimes free of charge, depending on what is standard for local citizens. Crucially, the EHIC can save travellers money because some insurers, including Allianz Global Assistance, may waive the excess if the EHIC is used when a policyholder has required medical attention.

Lee Taylor continues, “The EHIC is free and complements rather than replaces travel insurance, so European travellers should make sure they always have both. Good travel cover not only looks after medical care and potentially very expensive repatriation costs, it can also cover the cost of holiday cancellation as well as lost or stolen baggage and belongings. This provides travellers with reassurance that they will get expert support when they need it most, allowing them to relax and enjoy their trip.”