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Hands up those of you that are going to Australia or the Islands that say, "I won't get sick so I won't need travel insurance"? How many of you have said the same when planning a trip to Europe or the USA?

It's not commonly heard with long haul travel, but for short haul, I hear "I won't need travel insurance" on an almost weekly basis. So certain are you that you're not going to trip over the curb and break an ankle while crossing the street. Certain that because you haven't been sick in years that you're immune to sickness while travelling and would never need any kind of hospital or medical care. These are the certainties that will cost you thousands!

A heart attack in Australia was recently covered that cost over $20,000 in additional accommodation & expenses not covered by the RHA (Reciprocal Health Agreement) that Australia & NZ share. And a slight trip & leg injury while travelling in Zambia, Africa cost $94,000.

While we can't take out the hassle or disappointment because your holiday plans are ruined due to an accident or ill health, we can alleviate some of the financial burden by simply making sure that you take out some travel insurance cover. And it doesn't have to cost the earth, just some simple & suitable cover for your travel plans.

Travel Insurance is NOT an additional cost of your travel, it is a vital part of the cost of your travel & it's often said - "If you can't afford travel insurance - you can't afford to travel."

(First appeared as a blog by Hamish in Essence Magazine, Ashburton)

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