Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, or Your Travel Insurance

If you’re one of the thousands of people taking part in the ‘Great British Getaway’ this summer – the busiest time of the year for foreign holidays – then be sure to pack your toothbrush and your travel insurance.

Travel insurance is a necessary part of a holiday abroad, however, a quarter of UK holidaymakers travel overseas without it.

In the young adult category, almost half travel abroad without insurance.

The UK Government won’t pay your medical bills if you are ill or have an accident abroad, nor will they pay to bring you back to the UK. You must take out adequate travel insurance to cover expenses should the worst happen.

To highlight the need for travel insurance, and the correct level of cover, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is asking British holidaymakers to 'Insure you have the right cover' for your trip.

Contrary to popular belief, travel insurance covers more than just your suitcases. The most important thing is that it protects you financially should you fall ill or have an accident while abroad - it gets you urgent and essential medical treatment.  And, many policies also cover you should your airline or tour operator go bust.

Travel insurance isn’t as expensive as you think. An annual European policy for a family of four, from a reputable supplier, covering luggage, medical treatments, repatriation etc. is about £70. A single policy in Europe costs around £20-£24 – less than a bottle of duty free perfume!

An important thing to remember about travel insurance is to check what you’re covered for, including sports and activities.

If you plan to jet ski, sail or banana boat, check you are covered. Most polices don’t cover these activities as they are often considered ‘extreme’ sports, so you will need to inform your insurer and have these activities added to your policy. Similarly, skiing and snowboarding – regarded as ‘Winter Sports’ - will need to be added to the policy.

Not convinced you need travel insurance? Don’t think you want or can afford it? Think again.

Here's how much money you’ll need to find if any of the following happens to you or a member of your family if you're not insured:

  • Treating a sprained ankle in Corfu - approx. £500
  • Stitches in Tenerife - approx. £500
  • A broken leg in the USA – approx. £40,000
  • An MRI scan in Ibiza - Approx. £1,000
  • Emergency surgery for a broken leg in Palma, Spain – approx. £6,145
  • An air ambulance in southern Spain / Canaries - approx. £25,000