Travel insurance and you. Have you got the facts?
Last week the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) began an awareness raising campaign to encourage travellers to be well prepared for any foreign travel, particularly where travel insurance is concerned, and are advising all British nationals travelling abroad to do more than just take out the first policy that comes along. As we know, for people with medical conditions this is especially important.
The trouble may arise when it comes to making claims on policies that aren’t suitable for the person travelling or when people rely on ‘free policies’ that come with credit cards, home insurance, private health cover or the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Why checking the small print is vital
The campaign aims to get people reading their policy documents as a matter of course before they go on holiday. This is to make sure that they have the right kind of cover, that their medical condition or conditions are covered and that they are fully aware of any exclusions.
The FCO also urge anyone taking out travel insurance with a medical condition to declare everything – including any changes in the condition - to their insurer before taking out a policy. Why? Because it could mean you aren’t properly covered if you have a medical emergency and have forgotten to tell the insurer something vital or haven’t got cover for certain aspects of it.
The true cost of medical problems abroad
According to the Association of British Insurers the average medical claim on a travel policy is just £930. However, as the FCO points out, if you fall ill and have to be repatriated to the UK it could cost you thousands if your policy isn’t up to it. They also pointed out that the British Embassy or High Commission will not pay for this.
What could it cost you?
- £35-45,000 - air ambulance from USA’s East coast
- £12-16,000 - air ambulance from the Canary Islands
- £15-20,000 - scheduled flight, stretcher and doctor escort from Australia
(figures supplied by FirstAssist Services Ltd)
Get covered properly with World First
As medical travel insurance specialists we offer different levels of cover for all kinds of people as well as those with medical conditions, and can often cover conditions that others won’t. However, like all travel insurance companies we do have exclusions on our policies and will not cover claims arising from excessive alcohol use, drug abuse, driving a motorbike without a helmet or without a valid UK motorbike licence or even failure to take reasonable care of your possessions.
The important thing is to know exactly what your policy will cover so that you don’t take unnecessary risks when you are away. Again, the only way to know this for sure – before it’s too late – is to read your policy documents.
If in doubt, call us
Medical problems can be chatted through with our helpful call centre staff at any time. They will be able to assist with any questions and advise you about the level of cover you need for your trip. Did you think about taking out an annual policy if you travel often? They can help you with that too. They can also quote you quickly and easily if you need to declare medical conditions for a policy that perhaps you hadn’t had when you last bought travel insurance.
Just give us a call on 0845 90 80 161
For more information see the FCO’s Guide to foreign travel insurance.