Today is Columbus Day. It’s the day that many countries in the ‘New World’ celebrate as the day when the Americas were first ‘discovered’ by Europeans. But myths of Columbus and his voyage abound. Many believe that Columbus set out to prove that the world was round rather than flat. However, the truth is that Columbus set out to find a western trade route to the Far East. He didn’t even discover the New World first - that claim now goes to Leif Ericson. In fact, Columbus’ famous voyage of 1492 wasn’t plain sailing at all.
Here at World First we’re happy to say that we are able to provide cover for many people who find it hard to get cover elsewhere. We cover people up to the age of 100 as well as those with medical conditions and were the first travel insurance company to offer a policy for travellers living with HIV and AIDS. We also insure families and backpackers and those who take time out to travel the world. But would we have insured Columbus?
Er.... unlikely. Columbus was a travel insurance nightmare.
For a start he didn’t even go where he said he was going and insisted that he had found the Far East long after many others realised he had actually discovered a new continent! So, whilst we will always be more than happy to provide you with a very competitive quote for your travel insurance, we like to make sure we know where you are going – or intend going - before you travel!
As well as getting completely flummoxed by the appearance of a new continent in his way, Columbus also suffered from a catalogue of mishaps. He wrecked one of his ships, The Santa Maria, on Christmas Eve. Then he had to leave about 40 of his party behind to form a new settlement in La Natividad. This was because there wasn’t enough room on the other two ships. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he was forced to bribe his way out of mutiny when the voyage – which he initially said would take 4 weeks - stretched out into 10. As with the destination, we usually like to know the duration of stay before you go. And despite offering a discount on group bookings, we usually prefer it if the group travels together for the duration of the trip!
Then there are the medical issues. The Europeans were responsible for bringing deadly disease with them to the New World. With no immunity to diseases like small pox, the native people died in their millions. Our policies may cover all kinds of declared medical conditions for those travelling, but I doubt our underwriters would see our automatic Personal Liability cover of £2 million as being quite adequate in the case of the Europeans landing in America.
Happily, today it’s not such a big deal travelling to South America, Central America, The Caribbean and The U.S. Travellers do it all the time. And we are more than happy to insure them, no matter how long they are going for, their age or medical condition. We just ask that they tell us about it first.
Happy Columbus Day.