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Even for travel in a supposedly “safe” country such as Switzerland, it is advisable to have good travel insurance. Aside from absorbing the horrendous costs of medical emergencies and treatment (break an ankle on a mountain path and you might need a £15,000 helicopter rescue), insurance also covers the loss or theft of your property, flight tickets and money. Many companies will also tailor policies for you if you plan on going skiing, or if you want to take part in other “dangerous” sports or adventure activities.

Note that very few insurers will arrange on-the-spot payments in the event of a major expense or loss; you will usually be reimbursed only after going home. In all cases of loss or even minor theft of goods, you must contact the local police to have a report made out so that your insurer can process the claim.

If you plan to participate in water sports or adventure activities, or do some hiking or skiing, you’ll probably have to pay an extra premium; check carefully that any insurance policy you are considering will cover you in case of an accident.

Debit, credit and charge cards (particularly American Express) often have certain levels of medical or other insurance included, especially if you use them to pay for your trip – although this isn’t meant to take the place of normal travel insurance. Coverage can be quite comprehensive, anticipating anything from lost or stolen baggage and missed connections to charter companies going bankrupt.

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