Skydiver survives terrifying ordeal

And without travel insurance, the nightmare continued

What could be worse than the unmitigated terror of your parachute not opening properly during a skydive, and the resulting agony of crashing into the roof of a parked van at 40mph? Okay, perhaps death, but second in line is the realisation you forgot to get travel insurance before going away.

This is what happened to skydive instructor Ben Cornick on a recent trip to Fiji. Granted, he’s lucky to be alive after plummeting 3,700m with a broken parachute. But when it became apparent he hadn’t taken out travel insurance for the trip, the airplane which was due to take him to New Zealand for a leg-saving operation refused to leave until £20,000 was paid upfront.

Cue major headaches for Ben’s parents, who had to transfer their lifesavings just to get him on the flight. And with the entire treatment expected to cost in the region of £50,000, they began making preparations to sell their house.

Fortunately for them, Ben’s cousin Ricky Davies stepped in to save the day. He set up a Facebook page calling for donations and within 16 hours more than 7,000 people – the vast majority of whom don’t know Ben – had chipped in. So far £30,000 has been raised.

Ben’s plight will hopefully serve as a warning to people before they travel about the crucial importance of travel insurance. It’s not expensive and even if you’re fortunate enough not to have to claim on it, the peace of mind alone is well worth the cost.

In the planning section of the site we have a special section dedicated to information on travel insurance – a must read!