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Insurance warning for travellers

16 March 2015 08:43

Uninsured travellers can be left out of pocket

Uninsured travellers can be left out of pocket

British holidaymakers jetting off to sunnier climes in Europe this year are being urged to be prepared.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) warns that travelling abroad uninsured can cost thousands of pounds if something goes wrong.

A sprained ankle in a popular holiday resort like Corfu could leave you £500 out of pocket, while a serious incident that requires the call-out of an air ambulance in southern Spain could set you back up to £25,000.

Travel insurance is therefore essential for any trip overseas, whether you are going away for a weekend or a couple of weeks.

It gives you peace of mind to enjoy the sun, sand and sea with your loved ones.

High costs

To help sun-seekers understand the money involved, the FCDO compared the costs of medical treatments abroad without insurance with what you could spend the money on, if you take out insurance.

It claims you could spend the £500 saved on a sprained ankle on a designer handbag, and the £25,000 on calling out the air ambulance on a deposit for a house.

Stitches in Tenerife would also cost you £500, while an MRI scan in Ibiza would leave you £1,000 in the red.

That is the equivalent of a yearly gym membership and a high specification laptop.

Emergency surgery for a broken leg in Palma would leave your wallet £6,145 lighter - money that could be spent on a brand new car.

Avoid nightmare trips

John Heppenstall, FCDO head of consular campaigns, says investing in travel insurance and understanding what you are covered for can make all the difference between the holiday of a lifetime and a nightmare trip.

He claims travellers looking to bag cheap holidays could end up getting more than they bargained for, if they fail to protect themselves.

Figures show that over two million young people between the ages of 18 and 30 took out travel insurance in 2013.

But the FCDO wants to see more individuals - both young and old - follow suit this year.