With recent data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) revealing that the average travel insurance medical claim rose by nearly 10% last year, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is highlighting the risk of taking the ‘Getaway Gamble’ of travelling overseas without adequate insurance.
In Spain, a survey of customers having to replace a lost or stolen passport while on holiday this summer indicates that as many as one in five were travelling uninsured.
Even in Europe, travelling abroad with inadequate cover can cost thousands if things go wrong – the average cost of a claim for medical expenses rose to £1,022 in 2014 (from £930 in 2013). Rolling the dice, not hedging your bets and being left with a £1,022 bill is no way to start or end a holiday.
The FCO is encouraging British nationals to make travel insurance an essential part of their holiday preparation.
The FCO is advising travellers to:
• Ensure you have the level of insurance cover required for your needs and the activities you have planned
• Answer questions about your medical history fully and honestly with the insurer; otherwise you may not be covered if you need to make a claim
• Bear in mind that travel insurance policies may not cover accidents that occur when someone has not taken reasonable care or had excessive amounts of alcohol
• Carry an up to date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if travelling in the European Economic Area, in addition to valid insurance cover.
An EHIC is a free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people covered for healthcare in that country. It will not cover any private medical care, or costs such as mountain rescue, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property.