16 May 2012 by Anna Staford
The FCO is encouraging British nationals to take out insurance as part of its Know Before You Go campaign which is designed to encourage British travellers to prepare properly before they go away.
Globelink Travel Insurance are partners in the Know Before You Go campaign.
Britons visiting family and friends abroad without travel insurance are risking hefty medical bills, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office has warned. The FCO said a recent survey found that a third of those who had stayed with loved ones overseas had not taken out insurance. 39% had ended up relying on their hosts when things went wrong. The Foreign Office warned skimping on travel insurance was "false economy".
Why is travel insurance important? We often hear of a tragic story where someone who did not arrange travel insurance and has been involved in a car or motorcycle accident. And there are a far greater number of people who suddenly become ill and are not well enough to return home for some considerable time.
Many wrongly assume that their EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) would cover all expenses in the event of illness or injury, but this unfortunately is not the case. A recent tragedy in which an uninsured teenage holidaymaker plunged from a balcony left his parents with a £15,000 bill to fly him back to the UK. In another case the family of a man who was left almost completely paralysed after a car accident in Kuwait say they're desperate to bring him home. His family need almost £30,000 to get him back to the UK. A British man who lives in Spain, suffered from chest pain whilst in France – he was not fit enough to fly and he and his was eventually bought home by ambulance. Luckily, friends have managed to raise almost all of the £11,000 bill.
Read also: When Should You Buy Travel Insurance?
Many travellers wrongly assume that the EHIC Card is sufficient medical cover when travelling abroad. This is not the case. Although the card is designed to give travellers within the EU the same level of care as local residents – it does not cover any other costs. It would therefore not cover repatriation costs, or any additional accommodation and travel costs of your spouse or traveling companion.
Although it’s wise to travel with an EHIC, to be fully covered you’ll need adequate travel insurance decent level of medical cover. The Foreign Office is unable to cover expenses for Britons needing medical treatment abroad.
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