Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

The Importance of Travel Insurance

The Importance of Travel Insurance

Hey guys, how are you?

I feel like I’ve been away from my blog for such a long time, but I’m back in Birmingham now after having the most incredible two weeks as a volunteer with the Atlantic Whale Foundation in Tenerife. I’m working on a few blog posts and a video to show you everything we got up to, what we achieved from the experience and how other students can get involved, (which shall be live next week). But for now, I wanted to have somewhat of a mini rant about how important it is to get yourself medically covered whenever you set off on your travels. As tourism students, travel is a huge part of our lives and we should be clued up about insurance. I’ve heard more than a few people boast how healthy they are, and that travel insurance is a waste of money because “nothing ever happens”. This is not wise people! You never know when ‘nothing’ might just turn out to be something.

Travel insurance is one of those things lots of people never have to use thankfully, and many trips result in travellers or holiday makers wishing they’d never purchased it. For me, it’s something I don’t ever regret buying (probably because I’m super clumsy and might earn myself a very costly bill). However, it is soo much more than medical coverage. It covers you for things like cancellations, passport cover, natural disasters and personal items. The more I travel, the more gadgets I bring with me and having a good insurance plan means I know that my cameras, laptop etc. are protected should they break or be stolen (hopefully not). I’d much rather pay out a small premium, than have to buy new cameras.

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During the final week in Tenerife, I ended up in hospital to receive medical treatment for an illness, and although I was pretty much out of it at the time, I’m sure part of my brain was rejoicing, knowing I had insurance sorted. Phew! I also got into a bit of a scrap with a wind-surfers board and went away with two huge bruises on my head and arm, but if it had been a lot worse, at least I would have had cover to get it sorted.

As well as travel insurance, if you head off on a trip in Europe get yourself a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)It’s free of charge, and gives you the right to access state provided health care in countries throughout Europe, (it was also the first thing I had to give in the hospital). There’s a lot of information on EHIC cards on their website, and an app you can download – perfect for when you’re on the road.  The most important thing to know about the EHIC, is that it is not an alternative to travel insurance! You still must buy your own insurance in order to get the most cover. If you’re going skiing, on a diving holiday or off on an adventure sports/ adrenaline junkie trip, there are special travel insurance plans that are essential for these kind of holidays. Likewise there are insurance add-ons for expensive electrical items. If you’re like me, gadgets are like your babies, and you must protect them, right?

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For every trip, think about what you’ll be doing, where you going and what you will be taking, in order to find the best insurance policy for you! Another tip? Don’t always go with your bank and read the fine print, no matter how tedious it might be! My bank offers free European insurance with my account, but I’ve read the fine print and know I’m not covered for much. In my experience, banks offer basic policies which are good for weekend trips like sightseeing and small activities, but not for anything else. There are hundreds of insurance companies so it’s worth having a search around for the right one for you. Travel insurance is not overly expensive either. I know we are students on budgets, but paying for cover and excess fees should something happen, is so much better than having no cover and potentially forking out hundreds/ thousands for the unexpected. You’ll feel very thankful for it.

I can’t wait to fill you in properly about the last few weeks – and I’m eager to get back to uni next week. How is your week going? Are you excited to get stuck into studies too? Let me know on twitter.

D x



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