Is it worth getting insurance?
Insurance covers a range of risks. You may wish to take the risk that your luggage might be lost, stolen or irreparably damaged. If the risk does not pay off the most you forfeit is the value of your case and its contents.
If you miss the flight out and there is no alternative, the most you lose is the holiday and whatever you paid for it. You may wish to take that risk.
However, a really big risk is that something unforeseen will happen to you or to a member of your group whilst you are away. No matter how much care you take, accidents happen and health issues cannot always be predicted.
Most insurance companies treat Egypt as part of Europe.
We are told that a transfer back from Luxor in an air ambulance with a doctor, to somewhere within the M25 area of the UK, would cost about £35,000 - more if you need to go further than the inner M25 or if you were further away from the airport than Luxor at the Egypt end.
Even a medically escorted seat on a standard flight would cost £3,500, or £5,000 if you need a stretcher. The costs would be even higher if two medical escorts are needed and do not include fees to the people handling the arrangements.
The insurance premium may not seem too much to pay to avoid that potential cost, even if you are prepared to take the other risks.
We cannot give insurance advice or direct you to any specific policy. We would, however, say that going without insurance is a massive worry and a huge risk that is surely not worth taking.
When getting quotes, check how the insurance company treats Egypt. Most treat Egypt as part of Europe. Insurance cover for Europe can be a great deal cheaper than worldwide cover. If you plan to take a balloon ride, check also whether the insurance company treat this as a hazardous sport that needs an extra premium. Some include hot air ballooning at no extra cost. Some give it a 'Grade 2' risk, which can double the premium. Others cover hot air ballooning but not for all personal accident or liability purposes.
We are not financial advisers and therefore cannot make recommendations but we believe, for information purposes only, that Columbus treat Egypt as part of Europe (click the beside 'destination' to check) and that they cover hot air ballooning, as a passenger, at no extra cost (click the 'sports and activities' line in the Optional Extras section of the form to check).
Single trip or annual policy?
If you go abroad once a year, a single trip policy will probably be best value. If you have two holidays a year the cost comparison will probably be close. Three trips a year or more and it will usually be cheaper to get an annual policy.
If you do at least two or three three trips a year (to anywhere) we suggest you check out a few single trip and annual policy premiums and at least give an annual policy some thought.
Pre-existing medical conditions
If you have a medical condition, are having medical investigations or are awaiting the results of medical tests, there are insurance implications.
If you do not declare the condition you will still be covered for other medical and non-medical emergencies. However, if an issue arises that is related to a condition that you knew about, but have not declared, you will not be insured for that emergency and you will not be reimbursed or given any help by your insurance company.
Having a medical condition does not necessarily mean that you cannot get insurance. Most insurance companies will still cover people who have medical conditions or are undergoing tests, but there may be an extra premium. These additional premiums can be very modest for some conditions (such as raised blood pressure that is under control with simple medication). If the condition is reasonably uncomplicated, you may even be able to arrange the insurance, including the medical cover, online. More involved conditions may need a phone call.
Updated November 2014
We are not financial advisers.
We have no affinity to the insurance industry or to any insurance company.
We cannot give insurance advice or recommend specific policies.