Have a Summer Holiday to Remember

As millions of Britons head off on their annual summer holiday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), in association with Thomson and First Choice, is reminding the Nation of the importance of travel insurance.

That’s because, 22% of holidaymakers travel without it. And sadly, a large proportion of these travelers will end up regretting this decision and wishing they'd bought cover.

Travel insurance is not just for lost luggage. It’s way more important than that. It’s for your health and for your well being.

Check out the following tips and information, to have a summer holiday to remember, for all the right reasons.

Sensible cover, sensible prices
Good quality travel insurance doesn’t have to cost the earth. In fact, medium level cover – often termed as Silver (Bronze being the lowest and Gold the highest levels) – can cost as little as around £40 for a family of four, for a two-week break in Europe. 

And don’t forget, there are discounts to be had if you’re going away more than once.  Annual policies are cheaper than buying several single-trip polices if you’re going away more than once.

Remember the old saying, “pay peanuts, get monkeys”? Never a truer word said – it pays to be covered!

Think you can’t afford travel insurance? 
Think again... Here are some of the costs you could incur if you fail to pay for travel insurance:

  • Treating a sprained ankle in Corfu – Approx. £500 - or a designer handbag
  • Stitches in Tenerife – Approx. £500 - or a yearly gym membership
  • A broken leg in the USA – Approx. £40,000 - a deposit on a house
  • An MRI scan in Ibiza – Approx. £1,000 - or a high spec laptop
  • Emergency surgery for a broken leg in Palma, Spain – Approx. £6,145 - or a brand new car
  • An air ambulance in southern Spain / Canaries – Approx. £25,000 - or a deposit for a house

Confused about cover?
You’re not alone, so here’s some help:

When taking out a travel insurance policy look at it covering medical expenses and repatriation (getting you home when ill) to £1million each – common on good quality policies.

Make sure you have good cancellation and curtailment cover - £5,000 is a good level of cover to be reimbursed should your tour operator, or likewise, go bust, and cover to get you home should your holiday be cut short.

Personal liability – this covers you should you cause an accident and a person sues you, usually this is around £2million on quality travel insurance policies.

If you’re travelling to Europe, make sure you take a valid EHIC medical card. This will cover you in EU countries for emergency medical attention to the same level as a National Citizen would – sometimes with no charge, others at a reduced cost.  However, it does not replace the need for travel insurance.

Get the right cover
If you’re planning on taking part in some water sports – jet skis, banana boats, water skiing etc. – be aware that you need to tell your travel insurance provider so you can add water sports to your cover! Failure to do so could result in you not being covered.

Did you know? 
Contrary to popular belief, the UK Government will not fly you home in the event of an emergency or accident, nor will it pay for any treatment overseas. It’s your travel insurance that will cover this.  

Here’s what the FCO can help you with:

  • Issue you with an emergency travel document
  • Provide information about transferring money
  • Provide help if you have suffered rape or serious sexual or physical assault, are a victim of crime, are ill or in hospital
  • Give you a list of local lawyers, interpreters, doctors or funeral directors
  • Contact you if you are detained abroad
  • Contact friends and family back home for you if you wish
  • Provide help in cases of forced marriage
  • Assist people affected by parental child abduction

However, the FCO cannot help you with:

  • Help you enter a country if you do not have a valid passport or necessary visas
  • Give you legal advice or translate documents
  • Investigate crimes or get you out of prison
  • Get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local people, but we will raise concerns if treatment falls below internationally recognised standards
  • Pay any bills or give you money
  • Make travel arrangements for you

Speaking about the importance of travel insurance, Cara Fortune, from the FCO says, “It is fantastic that so many British nationals will be able to spend time abroad with their families this summer. However, savvy holidaymakers should remember that an emergency abroad can be extremely expensive if you are not adequately insured. 

"Investing in travel insurance and understanding what you are covered for, can make all the difference. Otherwise it might be a holiday to remember for the wrong reasons!”

And don't forget to get your holiday off to a great start with our Gatwick meet and greet parking. Book yours now!