Travel writers really do need good travel insurance as they scramble around strange corners of the globe. It covers medical treatment and lost baggage, delayed and cancelled flights, etc. and can make all the difference between being able to complete an assignment - or even staying alive.
In Britain, however, it can be very hard to get insurance if you have a pre existing medical condition, however mild. If you do, after much shopping around, it can cost a bomb.
I had always assumed this was a tough fact of life, but Nicky Gardner, co-editor of the Berlin based travel magazine "Hidden Europe" has been researching travel insurance options in different EU markets, and she said:
"The European notion of insurance as a shared social and economic risk – an act of communal solidarity on all sides – seems to have disappeared in the UK as insurance companies pursue profit"
She goes on to say that, in Germany, public health insurance programmes aren't ALLOWED to ask applicants anything about their health when they apply for membership!
Of course the helpline is probably in German. And just by sheer coincidence I've started up my German classes again today.....