Travel Insurance for
Italy - Why you need Travel Insurance when you Travel
Travel insurance for Italy is probably not high on your list when
planning a trip, but it should be. You never know what may
happen on holiday. From cancellation fees, unexpected health problems
and medical costs, lost baggage or stolen goods - any of
these could turn your
holiday to Italy into a nightmare if you don't have travel insurance.
Gone are the days when the Italian marshes bred
mosquitoes and people died of malaria. Thankfully, these days, Italy is
a safe country to travel around from a health perspective although
is always the chance of getting a case of diarrhea, breaking a limb on
the ski slopes, taking a tumble down some steps, or having a
We had a friend and his wife who had just spent the day with us at the
markets one Sunday ending up by being t-boned by an ambulance whose
driver jumped a red
traffic light in his haste to get home for lunch! It wasn't even as
if he was transporting someone in an emergency. Eventhough it
friend's fault, it cost he and his wife time and aggravation dealing
Italian bureaucracy, car rental agents and hospital outpatients.
And all they did to get them into this situation was to go
when the traffic lights had turned green!
Italy is also notorious for pickpockets, especially in major
cities and around well-known tourist spots. It is you that they are
targeting, not the locals. They steal wallets, cameras, laptops,
passports and even snatch bags while whizzing past you on motorbikes.
We had another friend who hadn't even gotten out of Milan airport when
that he had had both is wallet and his passport stolen.
Of course no one expects these things to happen, but they do. Make sure
that you have insurance cover and be prepared for the unexpected!
Buying Travel Insurance for Italy
So where can you buy
travel insurance for Italy? Most travel agents,
insurance agents and tour operators offer specialized
health-and-accident insurance, flight, trip cancellation and luggage
insurance as well as comprehensive policies that may cover most, if not
all of these features.
Comprehensive Travel Insurance for Italy
A comprehensive travel insurance is just that. It will be an all-in-one
policy that usually covers almost every event that you could think of
that may spoil a holiday from accidents, and health issues, lost
baggage, death, cancellations or companies going bust and not being
able to provide you with the holiday you have paid for.
If you don't take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy then you
can purchase each of the policies below separately.
Make sure that your comprehensive travel insurance covers legal
assistance and advice if needed.
Health-and-Accident Travel Insurance for Italy
insurance is usually covered in a comprehensive travel insurance policy
and they usually cover 3 main areas:
1) Reimbursement for any medical expenses
that you may have to pay out while in Italy. Depending on your policy
and how it is structured, the pay-out could be fairly basic where it
only pays out $1000 or it could pay out $200, 000. Dental and glasses
may also be included.
2) A personal accident, or death-and-dismemberment cover
is included here where your beneficiary / beneficiaries will get a lump
sum pay-out in the event of your death while traveling, which includes,
but does not exclude flight travel, or if you lose either your sight or
limbs. Here again , depending on how the policy is structured
the pay-out could range from $10, 000 - $500, 000.
3) Medical assistance where you may need
to be flown out of Italy back to your home country for medical
Flight Travel Insurance for Italy
Flight insurance will
pay your beneficiary/ beneficiaries a lump sum if
you die in a plane crash. Depending on how your policy is
structured it might also pay out if you are badly injured as
a result of the accident where you lose a limb, eye sight, mobility
You are usually covered for additional flight insurance if you buy your
plane ticket with a major credit card company. Check your coverage as
this may included other forms of public transportation. You
also buy flight insurance at the airport.
Baggage Insurance for
If you travel a lot you
will have had lost bags at least once. It is
more common than you think.
We were once stranded in Singapore for 4
days with no luggage as our luggage was sent on to its end destination
despite the fact that we had planned to stay there for 2 weeks.
Just as well clothing was cheap to buy as eventually we were
forced to buy several sets of clothes and shoes as we waiting for our
luggage to be returned.
As we were young and inexperienced travelers at the time we had not
insured our luggage and therefore we were not compensated for the
amount of money we had spent. Luckily our bags were returned. It would
have been a disaster had they not been returned in addition to not
having luggage insurance.
If you have lovely clothes that you will need to replace if the
airlines lose your bags then take out baggage luggage. What the
airlines pay you for lost bags is a joke.
You should be covered for this by paying for your ticket using your
credit card but double check when purchasing your ticket.
Otherwise, you can also get cover through travel agents and
insurance companies which is either separate to, or included in, your
comprehensive travel insurance.
Cancellations and Travel
Insurance for Italy
If you buy trip
insurance this covers you
for 2 scenarios:
1) If you are unable to take the trip as planned due to some unexpected
event known as trip cancellation and interruption
2) If the company that you have booked your trip through has gone
bankrupt and cannot provide you with the holiday you have paid for,
known as default or bankruptcy insurance.
Minimize your risks of having a company not being able to deliver the
service by only buying a holiday from companies who are members of a
well-recognized travel association in your home country that helps
regulate the travel
Always read the fine print on your insurance policies and know exactly
what you are covered for, and entitled to, if you need to make a claim.
Insurance policy writers are notorious for writing policies in
way that it benefits the insurance house rather than the client.
For example, with default policies they often don't cover the
defaulting of travel agents, tour operators, airlines or cruise
Health Coverage for EU
For those of you from
the UK or EU countries you are entitled to free
health care in Italy if you get sick. Without it if something does
happen to you while in Italy you will have to pay the
full amount and then claim that back through the health system on your
However, if you live in Europe you can apply for the European
Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which is
valid for 5 years. This card is free of charge. However, cover is for
emergencies only. Any other medical treatment will need to be covered
by private medical insurance. The EHIC replaces the E111.
If you need medical aid you then present your EHIC to the
office of the INAM in Italy (Istituto Nazionale
per l' Assicurazione contro le Malattie)
where they will issue you with a certificate confirming your right to
treatment and provide you with a list of doctors and clinics who are
within the INAM scheme whom you can visit.
The EHIC is not an alternative to health travel insurance for Italy and
it is still worth taking out
additional insurance to cover cancellation fees, loss of personal
possessions, mountain rescues off ski slopes, being medivaced and other
emergency expenses as a result of your medical
What to do when things go
If you need to make an
insurance claim while you are in Italy due to
stolen or lost property you much get a copy of the police report (denuncia)
when you first made your statement. You will need to find the
offices for the state police, la polizia
who are different from the carabinieri
who deal with security issues, organized crime and speeding traffic. La
Polizia deal with most crimes, including theft. Their offices
are known as the questura
If you have lost your passport you need to contact your embassy within
Italy and they will guide you with further assistance.
If you lose your traveler's cheques contact the issuing company's
If you have an accident the emergency section (pronto
soccorso) of any hospital will treat you.
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