Travel insurance. To buy or not to buy. We’ve all been in the situation at some point whether you’re an 18-year-old with no money or a fortysomething wanting to scrimp a little and turn a blind eye.

Be honest. Who else has done the maths on how you could switch that spend to cover the entire family for a night out at a fancy restaurant or put towards some shopping?

So, it got me thinking and prompted me to turn to Facebook friends for some universal thoughts and wisdom. I asked the question: Have any friends out there had a travel insurance positive/negative experience they could share?

Boy, what I didn’t expect was the response! A million-dollar-plus savings kind of response piling into my Facebook PM inbox!

Within two days I was bombarded with stories – the good, bad and the ugly – with those who took out travel insurance saving more than $1million collectively. From a group of about 25-30 Facebook friends sharing their smack-you-between-the-eyes experiences, many of them could easily have ended up on a Nightmare Holidays episode.

Try this, one of the worst. Carmen, in her 70s from Melbourne, was on a dream holiday adventure in Kenya when a bus accident 50km east of the Uganda border triggered one of the worst experiences of her life. She was lucky to be alive after sustaining more than 13 fractures.

Cover-More came to the rescue when her daughter Debbie phoned the insurer in Sydney.

Carmen was then put in a hotel in Uganda overnight “as they had a no-fly policy in the dark” and the following day was airlifted back to a private hospital in Nairobi where within a week Debbie was flown over to accompany her seriously injured mother back home.

Carmen says while they were flown home in First Class, unfortunately she couldn’t remember much of it because of the heavy sedation.

So how much did she save? If Carmen wasn’t insured the cost would have been well over $100,000, with the air ambulance from Uganda to Nairobi alone costing more than $40,000 along with two ambulance rides and hospital expenses.

Then there was the story of Renee and Tom, who on Day 1 of their honeymoon had just enjoyed a romantic breakfast overlooking the rice paddies. They stepped onto the road after leaving the restaurant and were cleaned up by a German tourist hurtling into them on his motorbike. Renee’s foot was severed from the Achilles and attached only by the ball of her foot while poor old Tom broke his ankle, wrist and ribs. Without going into the horrors of what ensued, Renee’s operation alone was going to cost more than $17,000.

Other stories included missed flights, chronic illness striking unexpectedly overseas, wild dog bites, and others bad enough to make you burn your suitcases.

However, we all soldier on with adventure in our hearts and the desire for fantastic holiday experiences.

Though the response to my simple little question on Facebook proves we can’t be complacent or ignorant when it comes to the issue of taking out travel insurance.

It’s a no-brainer.