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-from News24 08:30 – Sam Smith

One can never guarantee their perfect health, safety and even sanity on one’s travels. We can be as careful and safe as possible though; trying not to eat this or to do that – but somehow, some things just creep up out of the blue and when unprepared can be financially debilitating.

Sadly you will be surprised to know that if you do not have travel insurance – the price of a stomach bug, alcohol poisoning, a deadly spider bite or a broken arm could end up being more expensive than your actual trip.

To avoid spending all of your savings or money you do not have to spend on a hospital bed – Finder.com put together the worst countries to travel to without travel insurance.

Travel insurance policies vary and some cover more than others, including broken spectacles, eye tests, specialist checks, dental work and even trauma counseling.

So if you are not in the right state of mind to understand your surroundings, the severity of your situation and the doctor’s bill in Japanese – it will be safer to know you have a good travel insurance covering you.

Here is a list of hotel bed and hospital bed comparisons for you to keep in mind…

1.United Kingdom: Hospital bed R9 500 – Travel insurance from R450

Some of the potential risks travellers in the UK are exposed to are currently terrorist attacks and delays due to extensive baggage checks and security measures. If you are travelling to the UK – remember to be aware of any suspicious behaviour, always use the safest routes and stay up to date with the news and media.

2.Thailand: Hospital bed R1 540 – Travel insurance – from R450

If you are travelling to Thailand, Finder.com recommends following these three rules to stay out of trouble: 1. Thailand has a zero-tolerance law against illicit supply and possession of illegal drugs. 2. Never deface the image of the king.This rule applies to money too. If found guilty of this crime you could spend up to 15 years in jail. 3. It is illegal to drink at temples, pharmacies, parks, petrol stations, schools and universities.

Travellers should be aware that negligence is not covered and extra coverage should be taken out for adventure activities, motorcycle riding and sparring in a Muay Thai fight.

3.New Zealand: Hospital bed R6 590  – Travel insurance – from R450

If you are travelling to New Zealand in the near future know that the country is subject to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and extreme snow conditions. The area is also regarded as one of the sports adventure destinations in the world, offering mountain biking, skiing and surfing.

4.Canada: Hospital bed R10 183 – Travel insurance from R450

Canada is an adrenaline junky’s kryptonite. From the great sea spots to the moutainous hikes and ski resorts, make sure to take out insurance for the whole family.

5.Italy: Hospital bed – R8 100 – Travel insurance – from R450

Avoiding getting knocked over by a scooter or passing out from extreme heat is a must for all travellers making their way to Italy.

6. Singapore: Hospital bed R15 080 – Travel insurance – from R450

This hot and humid country is susceptible to diseases like malaria – so it is best advised to have anti-malaria tablets if you are travelling through the rural areas.

Travellers are also advised to be aware of pick-pockets and abide by the laws of behaviour between men and women; offensive language, inappropriate touching and harassment of women is subject to time in prison or corporal punishment.

7. France: Hospital bed R8 730 – Travel insurance – from R450

Travellers should be aware that the country has been subject to terrorist attacks and that while there have been no warnings or alerts in 2016 – vigilance, caution and awareness of surroundings must be practiced at all times.

8. Japan: Hospital bed R8 560 – Travel insurance from R450

Japan is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic erruptions. One also stands the risk of being exposed to radiation in some areas of the country, the very high cost of healthcare and the risk of sports injuries.

You must also be aware of the Japanese customs and traditions which are considered rude if ignored, such as: bowing when greeting, dressing modestly, sticking to neutral conversation topics and never refusing a beverage, explains Finder.com

9.Germany: Hospital bed R9 470 – Travel insurance from R450

If you are going to a German beer festival you stand a high risk of having a severe hangover or even alcohol poisoning. Make sure you know your limit to avoid the pricey stay in a hospital. Travellers should also practice caution when travelling on the autobaan and always wear their seat belt.

travel insurance

10.Spain: Hospital bed R8 200 – Travel insurance from R450

Spain offers a wide variety of adventure activities, from water sports to mountain excursions. Be aware of seafood dishes, allergies and heatstroke.

Price of R450 per person is based on travel of 6-9 days, the longer your overseas stay the higher the cover. This still equates to only R50 per day, cheaper than a cuppachino in Europe! This is the premier cover of up to 100 million rand emergency medical expenses including terrorism.

Cover for shorter stays, Indian ocean Islands and families is even less.

Ask a consultant if you have any specific questions relating to travel insurance.

NOTE: Converstions done at R16.64/$ and were estimates at the time of publishing
Have a look at a breakdown of travel insurance rates here: