On Tuesday, we received the devastating news of Egypt's hot air balloon accident that killed 19 tourists, including 2 Britons and a UK resident.
It was reported that the balloon was in the process of landing when one of its cables got caught on a helium cylinder. As the balloon caught on fire, it rapidly spread to a gas canister which exploded. Quickly plummeting 300ft (1,000m) towards the Earth, the balloon came to a halt in a nearby sugar cane field in Luxor, Egypt.
Only two people survived the crash - a British passenger and the pilot who had jumped out of the balloon before its descend. It is believed that if the pilot has completed a swift shutting off of the balloon's valves, it could have reduced the amount of damage as a result of this accident.
Further research shows that six of the tourists that had purchased a travel insurance policy from a Chinese provider, did not actually cover for their hot air balloon trip; whilst three of the balloon's passengers had purchased travel insurance that had successfully provided cover for balloon trips. For the two British tourists, their inadequate level of travel insurance agreed to transport their bodies back home as a good-will gesture, however their families did not receive any compensation.
We hear too many stories of unfortunate travelers having terrible accidents while abroad, which further highlights the importance of purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance policy. The cost of foreign medical cover can escalate very quickly - travel insurance provides you with reassurance and peace of mind that you will be helped in the event of a medical emergency while abroad. However, we must stress that it is very important to check your policy before commencing travel!
Firstly check that the policy fits your needs by thoroughly reading the policy wording and ensure that you are covered for your chosen activity. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure as to whether you are covered for your trip itinerary. It is better to ask any questions you may have about your travel insurance than not and risk having no cover at all.
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