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Why must I have travel insurance?

If bad things happen far away from home, travel insurance may quite literally be your lifesaver. It’s a must-have – and you probably won’t get your visa without it anyway.

In fact, even in the unlikely event that you aren’t required to at least take out medical travel insurance in support of your visa application, it’s the prudent thing to do.

Here’s why:

  • Quality: even in developed countries, public health systems may not be of the best. Travel insurance will help ensure that you get the best treatment possible, when you need it
  • Costs: in the event of a serious medical emergency, you could run up enormous costs. Emergency care, hospitalisation and medical repatriation – where you are flown home with a medical team – can be eye-wateringly expensive, especially in countries with stronger currencies than your own. Insurance will help you access the care you need
  • Customisation: travel insurance can be tailored to your needs – for example, according to your age and medical status, where you’re going and whether or not you’re doing adventure sports. For added peace of mind you can often also cover other risks: missing luggage, theft of valuables and documents, and cancelled or missed flights
  • Support: good travel insurance always comes with 24/7 travel assistance. When you’re halfway around the world and in a pickle, it can make all the difference to be able to pick up the phone and call for help

In essence, your host country does not want you to be a burden on its health system, hence the common requirement for travel insurance. It’s important to find out exactly what is needed, though; for example, if you’re travelling to the Schengen Area, you will be required to prove in your visa application that you have medical travel insurance of at least €30 000.

Also, be sure to buy your insurance through a reputable provider; if you have an insurance broker or insurer, speak to them about your options. Otherwise, at Travelisa we recommend Insurté, a France-based, travel-focused brokerage that can provide you with a selection of covers in a matter of seconds.

We wish you safe travels wherever you go, and whatever you do. But just in case – and to ensure a successful visa process – always have sufficient travel insurance.