Prepare for these accidents abroad: Do not forget travel insurance!

Published
22.1.2016 - 07:00
You should not save on travel insurance. During a journey, even a minor accident may lead to high costs. See here for a list of the most common accidents and illnesses that occur during travel.

The most common illnesses that Finnish travellers suffer during a trip abroad include diarrhoea, a child’s ear infection, common cold, bronchitis, and stomach pain.

Tourist diarrhoea is a common plague in warm destinations. You can protect yourself by ensuring hand hygiene and by carefully choosing what you eat and drink.

You can check vaccinations recommended for your destination here.

Finns most often become ill in the places where they travel the most. After domestic trips, people most commonly become bed-ridden in Spain and Thailand.

Of course, the most common cases of illness depend on the destination. For example, knee injuries are typical at destinations where downhill skiing is popular.

Everyone travelling to Europe should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that enables the holder to public health care in the destination country. However, that card does not cover visits to a private physician or ambulance flights to Finland.

An application for an EHIC card can be made through the website of the European Commission free of charge

Look after your belongings!

The five most commonly compensated types of property damage are: 

  • theft in a vehicle, at a marketplace, or in shopping centres
  • robbery, usually on a side street or in the evening
  • burglary in a hotel room and theft of valuables
  • breakdown of mobile phones, tablet computers, and eyeglasses
  • failure of a suitcase to arrive at the destination

The majority of accidents occur to mobile phones. They break down or become wet, and are stolen or misplaced.

Basic care and attention will go a long way. You should never leave any belongings out of your sight in a public place.

A wallet, for instance, should be kept in a place where it is not up for grabs. You should not display large bundles of money when making a purchase, for example.

Travel insurance secures your trip

A travel insurance policy comprehensively reimburses treatment expenses for illnesses that begin and accidents which occur during a journey, and costs of transportation home in serious cases. 

Medical costs and expenses for transportation back home may be surprisingly high for anyone travelling without travel insurance. For instance, treatment for a broken ankle in the USA may cost up to 30,000 euros, and treatment of heart problems in Spain approximately 25,000 euros (source: If’s website).

Information about property insurance was obtained from Juha T. Virtanen, an expert on property reimbursement at If, and on personal insurance from reimbursement expert Pirjo Markkanen. In addition, travel insurance experts at OP were interviewed for this article.