Many British holidaymakers are putting themselves at risk of “sky high” medical bills by travelling without insurance.
Research by travel association ABTA and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reveals that one-quarter of Britons (24%) travel without insurance. Most at risk are younger travellers aged 18-24, with 82% admitting to taking part in more adventurous activities on holiday. Just over half (55%) travel with insurance.
The consequences of not having travel insurance are also under-estimated. Research by Censuswide last month revealed that 47% of those surveyed believed it would cost £5,000 or less to treat a broken leg in the US. The actual figure would be eight times that amount, at about £40,000.
Moreover, 16% mistakenly believe that travel insurance in unnecessary, as the UK government will pay for their treatment if they become ill abroad.
ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “With the peak holiday season coming up and British tourists heading abroad, we urge holidaymakers to think about travel insurance and to pack their policy.
“Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen and sometimes these accidents can lead to costly medical bills. It is just not worth taking the risk, when an average annual travel insurance policy costs less than £25.”
FCO minister Mark Simmonds said: “Many people travel abroad without insurance and, getting injured or falling ill could be very expensive – it could even be a matter of life and death.
“Many don’t realise that the government will not pay their medical bills abroad or pay for repatriation. I urge everyone to take out comprehensive travel insurance so they can enjoy their holiday without risking their health or their savings.”
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