Why have travel insurance?

At some time, we’ve probably all wondered “do I really need to take out travel insurance?” When you consider just how many possibilities there are for things to go wrong when travelling, it really should not be dismissed lightly.

Just take a look at this list of some of the situations typical travel insurance can cover:

Medical/dental expenses
Medical Emergency and hospital care (Accident or Sickness)
Emergency evacuation/Medical Air Evacuation
Trip cancellation/interruption/curtailment
Delayed departure, missed connection
Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
Flight Connection was missed due to airline schedule
Travel Delays due to weather

This, of course, varies from company to company and you should check what’s included/excluded by various insurers before taking out a policy.

When booking on a Caves & Castles Tour, our guests are often fulfilling a long held dream – particularly to see the painted caves for this the Vezere Valley is world renowned. When that dream is realised, which often gives rise to feelings of great emotion and satisfaction – often reality far exceeds expectations. You can see pictures and films, but it’s only by seeing the images themselves that you can get a true appreciation of the scale, the complexity, the skill – it truly is awesome that our ancestors, so many years ago, were so technically proficient – as Picasso said “I can teach them nothing”.

So you dream the dream, you plan the dream, you realise the dream and set off on your trip, perhaps having spent a considerable amount of money. Then something goes wrong….

Here are a couple of examples:

4 Australian ladies planned a trip to celebrate the Big Birthday they all shared this year. Each input where they would like to go, what they would like to see. It involved a thought of planning and researching, but at last their Tour was put together. Each had their own plans, some more time available than others, but they were to link up in France for the leg of their Tour which would include visits to Lascaux II, Font de Gaume and Les Combarelles – some of the finest cave art in the world.

Then a problem arose for one of the group. Whilst in Turkey, she picked up a virus that really wiped her out – she was hospitalised. Managed to get to Paris, but was still so ill, she had to reluctantly decide to return to Australia and, of course, Sod’s Law being what it is, it was she who had most wanted to see the painted caves. This was a HUGE disappointment, but she had no choice, she was just too ill.

She was missed both by the group and by us – as the main organiser of this part of the trip, we’d built up a good relationship emailing and phoning and were looking forward to meeting up. Photos, texts and phone calls partly filled the gap, but, of course, she wasn’t with us – nothing could change that.

Lunch at Madame Murat's - but we're one short

As well as a huge disappointment, this could have been a financial disaster, but fortunately a travel policy was in place, so the loss was minimal and it’s possible to plan another trip. Ok, it won’t be quite the same, but the dream can still be fulfilled – that’s as good as it can be under the circumstances.


Similarly, American visitors arrived in Paris, full of excitement – at last they were to see those special caves they’d thought about for so long. A few days in Paris to rest up from travelling and take in some of the sites there – perfect. BUT then a problem arose in the form of sciatica – wow, that’s painful and the result was returning to the States for treatment. Another BIG disappointment – but again lessened because having travel insurance means that they can plan another trip in the Spring. Without it???? – it’s tough to decide to spend out that money all over again, doubling the cost of realising that particular dream when there are so many other places to see as well.

Absent Friends

Insurance is one of those things that you take out hoping you’ll never need to use it; hoping that by having paid for it, Sod’s Law says you won’t need it – but if problems do arise, you’ll be jolly glad you opted to ‘play it safe’. So, please, when you see something like ‘travel insurance strongly recommended’, don’t disregard it – it could be the difference between realising your dream – or not.


[boilerplate plate = “sjburman”]

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