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06 February 2013 10:00
A poll shows that many people believe wrongly that travel insurance is unnecessary
Travel insurance is wrongly thought to be unnecessary by many people who believe the Government will pay for any treatment if they fall ill while overseas, according to Abta. The UK travel trade association for tour operators and travel agents produced a poll which said 16% of consumers hold this mistaken view, and 17% assume wrongly that they do not require insurance in Europe as they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
However, this just provides for basic state medical care, not costs for returning home. The poll adds that one-third of 15-24s believe the ETHIC will cover returning-home costs. An ETHIC provides access to free or reduced cost basic state-funded care, although private treatment or repatriation are covered by full travel insurance.
Travellers must take out comprehensive
medical travel insurance for travelling abroad as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) cannot pay medical bills. Lynda St Cooke, of the FCO, said: "We also advise reading the small-print to check that your policy covers you for everything you want to do on holiday. If in doubt, contact your insurance provider." The foreign office website provides advice on what travellers need to do at www.fco.gov.uk/travel.
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