Most that go on holiday are aware of the importance of taking out travel insurance – and in particular, declaring any pre-existing medical conditions. However, despite being aware there are still many that decide to take the chance, especially if just going for a long weekend, only taking their blue European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Yes this will cover you for emergencies but not for ongoing medical treatment and certainly not the cost of repatriation – flying you back, which can run into several thousand pounds.
Risky pursuits are often not covered so do check your policy carefully – the rental companies always make you sign a disclaimer so that they are not responsible if you are injured. I waded through the T&C’s of one random online company, InsureandGo for 'Sports and Leisure' activities, which was all the way on page 23.
Once there I was somewhat shocked to discover that Banana Boating, Segway and Go-karting are all excluded – popular activities for those coming to Benidorm, yet bungee jumping and water skiing are covered! There must be some logic somewhere but I haven’t figured that one out yet.
Worryingly, it now looks like you also have to check your policy to ensure you are covered for just coming here to Benidorm, as a number of insurance companies EXCLUDE Spain from European cover! The Post Office, who many use have two categories for Europe – one that includes and another that excludes the following popular EUROPEAN holiday destinations: Cyprus, Balaeric Islands, Turkey, Spain and Canary Islands.
On a single trip individual policy it was a few pounds difference for an under 50 year old – but obviously age becomes a big factor for older travelers and many insurance companies are quoting astronomical premiums. For 1 weeks cover to Spain for a 65 year old the Post Office online quote is £30.52, rising to £46.77 for a 75 year old and £93.14 for an 85 year old…. these are all with no pre exisiting medical conditions which would push the premiums up. One company that charges more for cover in Spain says it is because the average insurance claim is twice as high in Spain than it is in France, explaining often travelers would be taken to a to a private hospital instead of the state hospital. I am sure that virtually all those taking out travel insurance assume that it automatically means you would be taken to a private hospital - but obviously not.
With the school half term holidays nearly upon us followed by the Easter break, do check what is and isn’t included – not just activity wise but destination wise too or you may be in for a nasty shock!