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Two people in as many weeks have fallen from balconies whilst abroad on holiday, both are in hospital with serious injuries and neither of them had any travel insurance. The families of both have launched appeals to raise in excess of £15,000 to bring them home. Both cases are extremely sad, but the added stress and worrying about trying to find the money to get home could easily have been erased if they had bought travel insurance for their holiday. In one of the cases the couple assumed that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) would cover them and that they didn’t need travel insurance, it is not clear why travel insurance was not bought in the other case.
A recent report by the Foreign Office, British Behaviour Abroad highlighted the number of Britons travelling abroad without travel insurance and requesting consular assistance. The government must do more to publicise the need for appropriate travel insurance when you go abroad. Many Britons who do fall ill while abroad are facing costly treatment and repatriation bills, because they have either not taken out travel insurance, omitted to declare a pre-existing medical condition or have wrongly presumed that if they are travelling in the European Union their EHIC would fully cover them for all medical costs and repatriation. It is
left to their families and friends to raise the money to pay for medical costs and to bring them home, some taking our huge loans or bankrupting themselves in the process
There is a serious lack of information from the Government about the EHIC cards, even the name European Health Insurance Card gives the public the impression they have health insurance whilst in Europe and they naturally assume it will be the same health care they enjoy in the UK. This is not the case and the Government needs to do some sort of publicity to clarify the situation or we will> continue to hear about families saddling themselves with debt to pay for their loved ones medical and ancillary costs abroad or to bring them home.
Travel insurance is something we all grudge paying for, but is worth its weight in gold when we do need it. Buying travel insurance does not have to be prohibitively expensive even if you have a medical condition, www.insurancewith.com specialises in providing affordable travel insurance for people diagnosed with cancer and other pre-existing medical conditions.