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Is it really worth taking out a travel insurance?

The presence of Poland in the European Union comes with many advantages. One of them is the abolition of borders, enabling us to travel the world quicker and easier, which benefit is enjoyed by many people. It is not surprising, as a flight to warm Spain is now often shorter than a travel by train from Cracow to Gdańsk, and sunny weather is almost guaranteed there. Against the unforeseeable, we are protected by the travel insurance.

EHIC for travelers in Europe
Despite all pleasures which are connected with travels, it is always worth preparing for them. I will not even mention here packing all necessities, as we usually have them included on our list of needed items. However, we do not think much about what will happen in case of an unexpected event during such a journey.

In Europe, this should not be a problem. All you need to do is to issue the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) before you set off for a journey. Consequently, the Polish NFZ (National Health Fund) will cover all costs of your possible treatment. The card is valid for 12 months and can be issued within a dozen days even without visiting the branch of the fund. Check here how to get a card: 

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You need to keep in mind, however, that the EHIC is valid only in the EU and the European Economic Area (Norway, Island, Lichtenstein), so you will not be able to use it, for example, in Switzerland. What is crucial, the EHIC covers all costs of treatment refunded in a given country. A package of such services does not need to be compliant with services that are free in Poland. Hence, unexpected costs may occur. Therefore, you should consider taking an additional insurance.
Insurance for distant journeys
The situation is even worse if we travel to more exotic places. Our only option then is an additional, paid travel insurance. There are plenty of polices of this kind and they vary in many aspects, which makes them difficult to compare. It is worth staring with the list of exclusions, i.e. the things an insurer is not liable for. The price of the insurance depends mainly on the maximum amount covered by the insurance. Unfortunately, more serious problems can generate quite high costs.
It is worth considering additional benefits of an insurance. Some policies focus mainly on covering medical bills, but they can also help us, for example, if the airport loses our baggage or if our flight is cancelled, which is now a common problem. The first and the most convenient step in choosing the best insurance is to come to our bank. If we ask the bank to buy an insurance for us, it makes the process not only easier, but also more convenient for us and saves us a frantic search for the best last-minute insurance.
Different insurance for a businessman and a competitive athlete
You should also consider the nature of your travel. If you are only going on a business trip for a few days, the cheapest package should suffice. If, however, you are going on a longer trip or doing a competitive and dangerous sport, you should consider a better insurance and also carefully read the list of exclusions. Nobody wants to learn after the fact that their insurance does not cover parachute-jumping and a resulting broken leg. Another issue are additional options offered under the insurance. Apart from the luggage discussed above, insurance policies can also satisfy more of our needs. One of them includes access to a translator. In case of an accident or a similar event, some insurance companies can provide us with the assistance of a translator to communicate on site. This help can prove invaluable if we do not know the local language. Acting according to the rule “better safe than sorry”, it is beneficial to select our insurance very carefully right after we have chosen our vacation destination. After all, when going on a vacation, we want to leave all worries behind the closed doors of the plane...
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