Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 137 total)
  • Is GoFundMe the new travel insurance?
  • franksinatra
    Full Member

    Am I being daft paying for annual travel insurance? I ask as it seems that most weeks I see a story about someone who has fallen off a balcony / taken drugs / been in a moped accident and their family are using GoFundMe to fly them home as they didn’t have travel insurance.

    This week it is a lad in a coma in Cambodia, up to £8k per day for intensive care and £200k to fly him home.

    How can people justify spending thousands of pounds on trips and not cough out the relatively small cost of travel insurance?

    chakaping
    Free Member

    How can people justify spending thousands of pounds on trips and not cough out the relatively small cost of travel insurance?

    Because it’s not going to happen to them.

    GoFundMe also seems to be used instead of a social security or public healthcare system, when some of the athletes in our sport get injured.

    bentandbroken
    Full Member

    The GHIC would not work in your example, but for many trips it covers the general health element pretty well, so things only really get expensive when repatriation is required….. Then the cash starts flowing very fast!

    This is based on a number of events in my life over the years and a current “issue”. I rarely every needed to claim on the actual travel insurance

    doris5000
    Full Member

    It is a bit weird.  But then they might not know this stuff!  (although with the internet there’s less of an excuse).

    In my 20s I was heading off backpacking with my friend. I didn’t know of the concept of travel insurance, and my parents had never really traveled either. It was only because my friend’s more middle class parents told us how important it was (on the way out the door) that we grabbed a Yellow Pages, phoned up some company and shoved a hastily scribbled policy number in our wallets that we had any insurance at all.

    Poopscoop
    Full Member

    The situation isn’t helped by what I feel is deliberately opaque insurance documents though.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    It never ceases to amaze me that people donate to these pages? What do people who set them up think? That the world owes them a favour because they couldn’t be bothered or chose not to buy appropriate insurance. Perhaps they are hoping for their 15 mins of fame in the Daily Heil  with suitably sad faces and a one sided story of doom.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    I think you’ll find that in some of the cases they took out insurance, but the insurer refused to honour the agreement. They cite something like an underlying illness or such.

    So you can take out insurance, then be left up shite stream without an outboard. In those cases thank god for gofundme.

    MSP
    Full Member

    You can holiday quite cheaply in some Asian countries, using hostels etc. If you are young and can book the cheapest flights rather than having fixed dates, I think you could have a holiday in Cambodia for less than a grand for Flights and accommodation, and live quite cheaply while there. So just because it cots thousands to go to Disneyland, don’t assume that is what these people are paying.

    I also had a problem booking holiday insurance recently because I had already booked the holiday  couple of months earlier. Now I already have medical and rescue insurance because I do mountain biking and diving, however I couldn’t get general insurance for my kit and any non medical emergencies, I don’t know if I would have been able to get medical insurance under those conditions.

    And of course young people are just not as aware of the consequences, it is a hard way to learn, but is just a societal reality.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    They cite something like an underlying illness or such

    Or the person ‘forgot;’ to disclose the illness so invalidated the policy and is now crying because they were caught  out. Perhaps I’m fortunate to have only made 2 claims on my holiday insurance and both were honoured in full with no quibbles in an entirely reasonable timescale.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    It normally only takes a couple of small, unfortunate events to create a cluster**** of a situation.

    Combined with insurance companies desire to not pay out, I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that everyone on gofundme made a choice to not be insured.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Agreed with Tom.

    Quite depressing how quick people are to jump on the ” you need insurance, insurance companies are great” bandwagon

    MSP
    Full Member

    What are the actual consequences in these situations?

    Has life support ever been switched off due to an inability to pay (for a westerner in a foreign country, I suspect the locals might get treated worse)? or is it (as is seemingly common in the US) a case of going bankrupt when presented with a bill that is impossible to pay?

    fossy
    Full Member

    Or like a couple of middle aged friends of ours thought it would be fun to jump on a moped in Thailand, no helmets, in flimsy clothing etc. Fortunately they didn’t crash, but I’d assume their insurance would have been invalidated.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    or is it (as is seemingly common in the US) a case of going bankrupt when presented with a bill that is impossible to pay?

    That seems to vary depending on the country. It is common in the USA for treatment to be stopped when the money runs out, especially for long term cancer treatment where each course of medication is billed separately so once you are bankrupted you no longer have access to care.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    For those of you saying that insurance companies may be at fault, from the go fund need page.

    I wasnt applying to any specific case. Just pointing out thats something that does happen.

    intheborders
    Free Member

    This is based on a number of events in my life over the years and a current “issue”. I rarely every needed to claim on the actual travel insurance

    I’ve never claimed on house insurance in nearly 40 years of paying it…

    fossy
    Full Member

    Claimed on travel insurance twice. Stuck with ‘that volcano’ and prior to that ‘stuck’ with a toddler son who contracted chicken pox on holiday – family legged it home before daughter showed signs.

    I’ve always bought insurance, and checked what was covered – e.g. mountain biking – been on family holidays where my insurance specifically says ‘no MTB’ – so I didn’t.

    How people are ignorant to this these days when media is full of people who get banged up and have no insurance. I’m old now, but wouldn’t have gone away when young without getting insurance.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Given that insurance companies are rarely in the red because of the payouts they make, it would seem buying policies is a mugs game. And that by buying insurance, you are paying for other people’s care anyway, as well as a margin for the insurance company.

    If you can’t self insure, you’re just sponging of more careful people and don’t deserve to go on holiday.

    tall_martin
    Full Member

    It’s not like this is new

    2001 an English bloke I knew smashed himself into a car in Thailand non a moped. He needed facial reconstructive surgery.

    No travel insurance, no money to pay for medical treatment on that scale.

    The bloke who’s car he hit paid for the medical treatment out of their pocket. I’m not sure why, it much have cost a fortune. It was the story I was told at the time.

    The English guy had been living cheaply while teaching English in Thailand.

    I had travel insurance. I hired a moped in Laos. I don’t remember getting a helmet with the moped. I’d never driven a motor bike or car. It seemed a normal thing to do.

    Would I have been covered if it was me that had crashed? No idea.

    I like to think of myself as sensible.

    A few years back an afternoon in Whistlers medical center cost £3,500. They say they scanned me with a cat scan and X ray, I don’t remember any of it.

    I had travel insurance (specifically for MTB, specifically because I don’t have the cash to pay for an airlift off a mountain/ medical stuff on the way home) and it took my insurers (dogtag) the best part of a year to pay out.

    mrmonkfinger
    Free Member

    “If you can’t self insure, you’re just sponging of more careful people and don’t deserve to go on holiday.”

    Firstly, given that I can’t cover myself for five million quid of medical liability, I guess I’ll have to just continue on sponging when I go on holiday.

    Secondly, I won’t be losing any sleep over buying a £30 policy for a weeks jaunt to Lanzarote or La Plagne or wherever.

    Then again, maybe you were just troll-lol-lol-lol-loling, in which case I hope you fall into a pothole when walking out of the destination airport, break your ankle, manage to stand just in time to be participate in an RTA as a vulnerable pedestrian, and have to be repatriated, all without the benefit of travel insurance.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Where the **** are you going to get a policy for la plagne for 30 quid?

    flicker
    Free Member

    Given that insurance companies are rarely in the red because of the payouts they make, it would seem buying policies is a mugs game. And that by buying insurance, you are paying for other people’s care anyway, as well as a margin for the insurance company.

    If you can’t self insure, you’re just sponging of more careful people and don’t deserve to go on holiday.

    Either I’ve completely misunderstood or this makes little sense to me.
    I would hope most businesses are rarely in the red, after all operating costs are covered they’re there to turn a profit for their owners and shareholders. Obviously you’re paying for other people’s care, I’d rather that than them paying mine though.

    How is it a mugs game? Insurance is there to cover costs in an eventuality that you can’t or don’t wish to realistically cover yourself.

    Very few of us would be doing anything if we had to self endure, holidays, driving, home ownership to name a few, you’re going to need a big bank balance to cover those.

    simondbarnes
    Full Member

    Then again, maybe you were just troll-lol-lol-lol-loling

    You must be new here

    Blazin-saddles
    Full Member

    I’m still good paying annual travel insurance.  MrsBS had an OTB crash in Majorca one spring a few years back, spent a week in the private hospital of Alcudia courtesy of AXA and they threw 2 CAT scans, X-rays and some emergency dental work in with the deal.  We only booked it in the airport when we realised our old policy had lapsed, could’ve just thought “it’s never been needed before”. Best £28 I’ve ever spent!

    franksinatra
    Full Member

    If you can’t self insure, you’re just sponging of more careful people and don’t deserve to go on holiday.

    really?

    TomB
    Full Member

    Interesting reading my policy for upcoming trip, specific exclusions like any injury while drunk or under the influence, any fall accommodation balcony etc- you can imagine some prior high cost claims…..

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    Should not be allowed to fly out if you don’t have valid insurance. Bit heavy handed maybe, but the idiots need protecting from themselves! See also: Smoking Ban thread.

    poly
    Free Member

    How can people justify spending thousands of pounds on trips and not cough out the relatively small cost of travel insurance?

    Wait till you find out a not insignificant number of people haven’t insured their cars despite it being the law and a risk to other people not just yourself!

    Am I being daft paying for annual travel insurance? I ask as it seems that most weeks I see a story about someone who has fallen off a balcony / taken drugs / been in a moped accident and their family are using GoFundMe to fly them home as they didn’t have travel insurance.

    The question is – do you have enough friends with enough money?  Actually insurance is not that different to GoFundMe…

    Insurance – x people pay £n upfront for a certainty that in a range of situations (but not all) they can get costs of £x*n  [obviously its a bit more complex to help actuaries justify their salaries! but the essence of it is that the risk is shared amongst all premiums]

    GoFundMe – X people donate £N after the event in the hope of covering a now-defined cost of £X*N.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Should not be allowed to fly out if you don’t have valid insurance. Bit heavy handed maybe, but the idiots need protecting from themselves! See also: Smoking Ban thread.

    What bollocks.

    How can people justify spending thousands of pounds on trips and not cough out the relatively small cost of travel insurance?

    Because it’s often far from small, and it’s often far from necessary.

    MrsBS had an OTB crash in ….. etc

    We had something different in detail but essentially similar In Germany one Christmas when the kid ( 6 months old) had a bit of a temperature. Tookim to docs for a few tests. Four hours later they phoned and told us to take him to hospital immediately. Cue loads of doctors, scans, tests and four weeks in hospital for him and his mum. We didn’t have travel insurance. No problem, not needed. They just sorted him out.

    Broken wrist boarding in St Anton. Stookie

    Broken foot kayaking in Norway. X rays, crutches.

    Ripped toenail in France

    And a few others.

    None of it paid for by travel insurance. Each one cost significantly less to fix than the travel insurance ( would have) cost.

    There you go. Just for a bit of balance in the thread

    Cletus
    Full Member

    Some of the responses in here have shocked me. I would never go abroad without travel insurance and, for most standard holidays, it is not that expensive.

    I really struggle to believe that the treatment described by thegeneralist could be cheaper than travel insurance. I have just paid £30 to cover myself, wife and teenage daughter for a week in Greece.  That is not going to pay for anything described and certainly not 4 weeks in hospital.

    I can understand daft teenagers not getting travel insurance. My son (now 27) never bothered when he was younger so I would buy it. The 32 year old man in the gofundme link is old enough to understand why insurance is important so I have little sympathy.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Just to be clear, the x rays, crutches, stookie,t oenail were all cheaper than the insurance

    The 4 week stay in a German hospital on an antibiotic drip definitely wasn’t, but it didn’t matter as we didn’t get charged for it.  They just sorted him out, put the wife up for 4:weeks and gave him the best medical care imaginable. No charge.

    I should have put a page break or something after that section and before the minor injuries to emphasis that I was trying to describe two different sets of scenarios. Soz

    £30 is indeed hideously cheap. Our insurance never comes in less than three figures for a week.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    you could have a holiday in Cambodia for less than a grand

    Don’t forget to pack a wife.

    alpin
    Free Member

    Just to be clear, the x rays, crutches, stookie,t oenail were all cheaper than the insurance

    The 4 week stay in a German hospital on an antibiotic drip definitely wasn’t, but it didn’t matter as we didn’t get charged for it. They just sorted him out, put the wife up for 4:weeks and gave him the best medical care imaginable. No charge.

    Guessing that was covered by the old E111 card scheme thingy… Reciprocal health service agreement.

    vlad_the_invader
    Full Member

    The 4 week stay in a German hospital on an antibiotic drip definitely wasn’t, but it didn’t matter as we didn’t get charged for it. They just sorted him out, put the wife up for 4:weeks and gave him the best medical care imaginable. No charge.

    @generalist

    I find this hard to believe unless your wife is a German citizen or a citizen of a country with reciprocal health care arrangements (and even then, the “sorting out of bills” is done behind the scenes. Was this pre-Brexit??

    donald
    Free Member

    We still have a reciprocal health care arrangement with the EU. I would get insurance for a ski/climb/mountain bike holiday in Europe but I wouldn’t bother for an ordinary sightseeing or cycle touring trip.

    5lab
    Full Member

    Even if you’re just going to Europe travel insurance is a good idea. Last year we had flights in and out of Sardinia, a week there and ferry over to Corsica for a week (and ferry back the day of the flight home). 3 days on the second island and got a text saying all the ferries back for the 3 days after tomorrow were cancelled due to weather. Options were (4 people during the school Easter holidays, if you’re wondering why they’re pricey) :

    Get new flights home from Corsica, paying a repatriation fee for the hire car – total £2,500

    Get the ferry 3 days early and get new flights on the day we cross – total £1200

    Get the ferry 3 days early and pay out for a hotel in Sardinia for 3 days with zero notice – total £1400

    We chose the last option as it suited us best. Total cost to use of £50. Granted it’s not £200k but it can save a bunch of cost and ballache (as we didn’t have to spend ages fishing around for the absolute best deal on a hotel), knowing it was all being picked up.

    Dickyboy
    Full Member

    Currently in Bali on an extended trip myself, took a while to find a travel insurance co that covered the things we expected to do (nothing extreme at all, finally covered with Saga 🤣) but I’d never really checked exclusions on previous holidays which was an eye opener on the risk I’d put myself in – just by hiking above a certain level, riding a bike above 125cc or cycling an MTB on a ungraded path.

    *The amount of European looking people riding round on scooters in Bali with flimsy clothing & no helmets is quite something, seems like the done thing, shocking how people follow the trend rather than risk assess themselves

    Dickyboy
    Full Member

    “We still have a reciprocal health care arrangement with the EU. I would get insurance for a ski/climb/mountain bike holiday in Europe but I wouldn’t bother for an ordinary sightseeing or cycle touring trip.”

    I’m insurance adverse but for the limited cost (because it’s very unlikely) I’d still want to insure myself against the massive repatriation costs should the worst happen, even if it’s in a wooden box rather than a medivac plane. Maybe having my brother in law die on such a plane colours my view though.

    Poopscoop
    Full Member

    The 32 year old man in the gofundme link is old enough to understand why insurance is important so I have little sympathy.

    I was most definitely capable of doing faft things at 32 and no doubt still am.

    I certainly have some sympathy for the poor sod. It’s not like he’s a rapist, he made a bad judgment call and fell seriously ill. He might have been abroad doing similar countless times and got away with it? Humans being humans he pushed his luck and got dealt a shitty hand this time.

    We can all be one bad decision away from something which utterly changes or even ends our lives and not even know it. Most of the time we don’t know it because we got lucky but there isn’t a human alive that gets every decision right.

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