HOLIDAYMAKERS must get ALL required vaccinations before jetting away to exotic locations or face being lumbered with thousands of pounds in medical bills, experts warned today.
Travellers who fall ill with life-threatening tropical diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever, who failed to take adequate precautions could see claims for medical treatment refused by their insurance company.
Most countries do not provide free health services and bills for even simple issues can quickly spiral.
But major procedures or operations can turn into thousands of pounds, depending upon the country and the hospital used.
Holidaymakers are always urged to have up to date travel policies when heading abroad to cover costs.
But many don’t realise that not having the correct vaccinations beforehand could lead to a claim being turned down.
Policies typically include the wording that any claim can be declined if it resulted “from a tropical disease where you have not had the recommended inoculations and/or taken the recommended medication”, according to Gocomapre.com.
Alex Edwards, the comparison site’s travel insurance expert, said: “If you’re heading to an area which has life-threatening infectious diseases you need to make sure you have the right vaccinations.
“Otherwise, if you fall ill with a disease for which you haven’t been vaccinated against or taken the required medicine – your insurance may not cover your medical treatment.”
It means, for example, if you visit a country where it is recommended that you take anti-malaria medication – and you fail to do so, then you could have invalidated your cover.
Depending on your destination, other diseases which you may need inoculations for include cholera, diphtheria, rabies, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid and yellow fever, according to Gocomapre.com
It comes as Britons travel to increasingly far-flung destinations enabled by cheaper and more convenient air travel.
This year, almost one in five British holidaymakers are planning to travel to a country they’ve never been to before, according to ABTA.
A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers said he had not known any disputes over insurance payouts and vaccination.
But he added: “Travel policies do expect you to take reasonable care to protect yourself and your property.
“So not following recommended medical advice and having the appropriate vaccinations could have potential implications if a claim arose in respect of one of the medical conditions that you are advised to be vaccinated against.”
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