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Is travel insurance compulsory?
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# 1
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brooney
Old 30-01-2007, 10:40 PM
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Default Is travel insurance compulsory?

Recently booked a holiday to Spain with Thomson. The agent said that insurance was compulsory and that since I didn't have my own she had to add on theirs. Needless to say I found a much cheaper one, and they did cancel my original policy although I suppose they had to since I was still in the 14 day cooling off period.

Is it true, however, that you must have insurance?
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# 2
herman2811
Old 30-01-2007, 10:48 PM
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No, not at all... just helpful just in case.

Don't know why Thomson would say it's compulsory.... perhaps they were trying to scam you?!
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# 3
trisontana
Old 30-01-2007, 10:48 PM
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No it's not compulsory, but some holiday companies insist you either take out theirs or make your own arrangement. I think the reason for this is that they don't want to be lumbered with somebody on one of their holidays who falls ill or as an accident and who cannot pay for any medical treatment .
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# 4
Hagar_uk
Old 30-01-2007, 11:01 PM
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It is not compulsory, but highly recommended, if you really don't want to take it out at least get the Europe EHIC card (free) even with insurance you may need this
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# 5
alanrowell
Old 30-01-2007, 11:05 PM
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Isn't it an offence to say that "their" insurance is compulsory?
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# 6
stacey21
Old 30-01-2007, 11:08 PM
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When I used to work in a travel agents they gave us the scenario that if your bags were stolen or lost and you didn't have insurance then fair enough you may have money to buy your possesions again, its your responsibilty. But if you are mid air and have a heart attack, will you have money for the emergency redirection of the plane? And the delay to all other passengers?
May be a lot of rubbish but at the time I thought it was a fair enough explanation
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# 7
Amys
Old 30-01-2007, 11:12 PM
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Its not compulosry and they can't say you have to have theirs, however, you are entering ointo a contract and it is possible that they can put in a term that you have to have *some* insurance, whoever it is with. Afterall, if sonmething happens and you do not have it they arer the ones who will have to help you when you are on location.
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# 8
maryotuam
Old 30-01-2007, 11:25 PM
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I am refused insurance because of a medical condition but I'm sometimes fit enough to go on holiday. Last year a travel company insisted I gave them an insurance reference number. So I bought the cheapest insurance I could get and didn't mention my medical condition. This reference kept the travel company happy.
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# 9
lisyloo
Old 31-01-2007, 8:43 AM
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As far as I understand it they cannot force you to take THEIR policy.

I believe however they can insist that you have A policy.
If you are taken ill or something happens and you are with a group then it could affect the entire group (or could affect them negative publicity wise if they just dump you).

Travelling without insurance is crazy IMO as you could be lumbered with BIG bills that could bankrupt you (50,000 for a charter aircraft to repatriate you anyone?).

So they cannot insist that you take THEIR policy but they can refuse to take you without insurance.

Easiest solution is simply to get your own which is usually cheaper.
An annual policy can work out cheapest if you do more than one holiday/trip per year.
If you give them the details then they rarely give you any hassle.
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# 10
brooney
Old 31-01-2007, 7:31 PM
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Thanks to everyone for their replies.
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# 11
Travel Insurance Guru
Old 01-02-2007, 3:50 PM
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Annoracky I know but under the EU Package Travel Directive a travel organiser (like Tompson) is obligied to offer you a quote for travel insurance at "the earliest availble opportunity", however (importantly) you as the consumer are not obliged to take it

It has been illegal for travel agents to insist on, or package insurance like this since the Office of Fair Trading ruled against this practice in 1998
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# 12
shown73
Old 01-02-2007, 9:31 PM
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When I booked a flight with E-Bookers, just before Xmas, I couldn't progress with the booking without ticking the insurance box, tried everything, no go. Needless to say, they have lost one more customer for a short term profit, I won't get caught like that again.
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# 13
trisontana
Old 01-02-2007, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shown73
When I booked a flight with E-Bookers, just before Xmas, I couldn't progress with the booking without ticking the insurance box, tried everything, no go. Needless to say, they have lost one more customer for a short term profit, I won't get caught like that again.
That's illegal. No travel company can force you to take out their travel insurance. As long as you can prove that you have your own travel insurance in place they should take your booking.
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# 14
Sam Bee
Old 02-02-2007, 1:47 PM
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We make it compulsory to have travel insurance. It's insanity not to have it, especially for the USA & long haul destinations. We don't hard sell ours as it's not worth our while, but will take details of clients travel insurance.

Been doing this since the Tsunami when a lot of clients lost their travel insurance along with most of their belongings. In another case in India International Medical Rescue called us as they had to provide a helicopter to get someone to hospital immediately, but as the client didn't have our insurance we couldn't advise if they were covered. Client was unconscious and they couldn't provide insurance details. IMR wouldn't fly them without assurances they would be refunded their 20k costs. Not sure what happened :confused:
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# 15
Nobjocki
Old 02-02-2007, 5:57 PM
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Travel insurance is one of the biggest cons of modern life.
When you think of all the millions of flights/holidays that Brits take every year and how so few of them go wrong you wonder why people bother.
Yet they're " encouraged " to buy insurance by scare stories and why - because it's making somebody a fat profit.
Ryanair aggressively market their travel insurance on their website but would you honestly want to buy an insurance policy from a company with their appalling customer relations record.
I've probably taken 500 flights/holidays in my life and never once taken travel insurance and never once needed it.
I repeat - travel insurance is a con and if any Government thought it was really necessary,like car insurance, it would have been made compulsury years ago.
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# 16
Sam Bee
Old 02-02-2007, 6:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobjocki
I repeat - travel insurance is a con and if any Government thought it was really necessary,like car insurance, it would have been made compulsury years ago.
You have an accident in the States and see how your life is ruined when you can't pay the hospital prices.

I've had to deal with many people (typically motorbike accidents) in Asia who didn;t have insurance, and as per my above post, it can have serious consequences on their future financial life.

In fact, you miss the point. Ryanair's and several other companies travel insurance is a rip-off, often because you can;t seem to 'opt-out', but it's a no brainer to not have great value travel insurance. In fact, i've go as far to say downright idiotic.
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# 17
trisontana
Old 02-02-2007, 6:32 PM
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The only compulsory car insurance is Third Party. This to insure you against damage to other people's property and cars. You can take this form of insurance out if you are prepared to pay pot thousands of pounds if you damage or write-off your own car.

This is same as travel insurance. It's all about risk. Don't take any out if you don't want to. But if you fall ill or have an accident abroad then be prepared for a very hefty bill. Do you take the same attitude to something like house or contents insurance? Are you prepared to face a bill of thousands of pounds if your house burns down or you get burgled?
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# 18
lisyloo
Old 02-02-2007, 6:39 PM
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Quote:
The only compulsory car insurance is Third Party.
I think a lot of mortgage lenders would disagree with that.
3rd party car insurance may be the only one that is legally required but it is usually a term of your mortgage that you take out buildings insurance (if you don't have a mortgage then it's up to you but you would be left with nothing if your house burns down).

I personally wouldn't want to be stuck in a foreign jail without legal advice or in a foreign hospital without a translator of the means to get home.
You could die or be infected with something nasty (like HIV) in a foreign country.

I don't think this is a con.
The risk of the worst happening may be small but it's a risk nevertheless.
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# 19
MFewings
Old 02-02-2007, 6:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobjocki
Travel insurance is one of the biggest cons of modern life.
I've probably taken 500 flights/holidays in my life and never once taken travel insurance and never once needed it.
I repeat - travel insurance is a con and if any Government thought it was really necessary,like car insurance, it would have been made compulsury years ago.
Shame you feel travel insurance is a con. YOU have been lucky and had no reason to claim but many other people do have accidents or ill health which then leave them with huge bills because they have no insurance.

Surely the small cost of a yearly travel insurance policy - like insure and go - which covers for the basics but leaves all the extra cover off is worth taking just for peace of mind. Or if not your peace of mind then perhaps that of your family members if you were taken ill abroad and needed the expense of long hospitalisation or air ambulance home.
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# 20
angel
Old 02-02-2007, 6:43 PM
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I've never bothered with travel insurance and never needed it. If it was cheaper I might get it but it seems such a lot of money for such short trips.
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