Young Brits abroad: gambling with their family’s future?
What would you pay to get your loved ones home safely following an accident abroad? Would you be willing to remortgage the house to pay a hospital bill in Mexico? How about using all your life savings to get them home from Oz with a medical escort?
Of course, as parents you wouldn’t fail in your duty to your children. But, it seems from the latest research, that young Brits are risking their family finances for the sake of saving a few quid on their holiday essentials.
So if your children are about to fly the nest and are seeing the world or are heading off for a fab holiday abroad, we hope they have a great – and safe - adventure. But don’t let them put your future finances at risk by travelling without one of the essentials – travel insurance.
1 in 3 say it’s not important
Recent research issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) suggests that more than 1 in 3 of young travellers do not consider travel insurance to be a necessary part of planning for their trip overseas. These stats also, rather worryingly, suggested that almost half of 16-24 year olds are willing to take the risk of travelling without insurance. 42% choose to travel without it because they believe travel insurance is too expensive.
Of course, we’d have to disagree. Travel insurance can be very affordable. With all kinds of policies offering reduced premiums for backpackers, last minute bookers and people with medical conditions, there is never any excuse to head off without proper protection. Especially if you know your poor old parents will pick up the tab, whatever the cost.
Perhaps they hadn’t tried to get a quote from us yet?!
Why an EHIC isn’t the same as insurance
Of those surveyed, 1 in 5 thought that a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) acts as a full insurance policy when abroad. Also, 16% of those surveyed assumed that all of their treatment costs would be covered by the UK Government if they had an accident or fell ill while abroad. However, an EHIC only provides access to state medical care in the European Economic Area and doesn’t cover other costs, such as repatriation or aftercare. In addition, while they do provide some support, the FCO cannot cover medical bills or fly people home when they are inured abroad.
Living with the consequences
OK, so treatment for a sprained ankle at a medical centre in Corfu (around £500) isn’t going to cost you your house if your kids go uninsured, but a bill for £20,000 for a flight home would make the eyes water a bit, wouldn’t it? For serious conditions, emergency operations, intensive care and rehabilitation you’ll need to be sitting down when the bill lands at your feet. These things can – and will – run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. And in some parts of the world your children could end up in miserable, inadequate local hospitals if they don’t have cover. It may even hamper their chances of getting the best treatment.
Why risk all just to save a few quid?
It seems ridiculous to take a chance on something as serious as your health. No matter where you are in the world – be it Malaga or Madagascar – getting access to decent healthcare is vital if things go wrong. So why risk it when, for less than £15, you can get a Standard Single trip policy from World First to cover a two week holiday in Europe? It'll include over 175 sports and activities for free and will only takes 5 minutes to covered if you do it online. It seems ridiculous, doesn’t it?
So, what’s it to be? The cost of a round of drinks or your life savings?