Summer’s coming and the suitcases are packed, the fake tan liberally applied and the prospect of weeks abroad filled with sun, sea and sand tantalising close. What could possibly go wrong? Well, rather a lot actually. The accommodation turns out not to look anything like the photos, he also turns out not to, and on top of it all, after one too many tequilas you take a tumble and end up paying for it. The cost of such holiday injuries can be excessive, with the average medical claim costing £914. However, for 65-74-year olds, this cost increases to £971.63. One example provided by the FCO stated that one stomach bug infection that was treated in a Californian hospital cost £100,000, including return flights back home. Whilst not wanting to worry you unduly, in short, it’s better to be safe than sorry. With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with TRUE Solicitors LLP, accident at work claims specialists, to give you these; our 4 IDEAL tips for injury insurance abroad.
DON’T NEGLECT IT, GET IT
Travel insurance do you really need it? The answer in short is yes. Although neglecting to buy insurance will have short-term financial benefits, the savings made don’t compare to the detrimental financial situation you could find yourself in should something go wrong abroad. In our eyes, it’s not a risk worth taking. Going into a holiday with the peace of mind that you’ve covered all bases and eventualities means you can focus all of your attention on the good stuff; where you’ll eat, drink, dance, sunbathe and the rest. Oh yes.
YOU STILL NEED INSURANCE IN EUROPE
Lots of people wrongly assume that when they’re travelling in Europe, they don’t need insurance because they have an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). However, this is not the case, as EHIC is only valid for medical necessities within the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA) in state hospitals. Confused by the small print? You’ll be even more so when confronted with it abroad, in a foreign language in an unfamiliar place. Indeed, it’s been advised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that all people wishing to travel outside of their country should also have comprehensive travel insurance as this will likely cover repatriation in the case of a medical emergency.
With Britain soon set to leave the European Union after the Brexit vote, it is unclear what will happen in terms of the EHIC. What we do know is that those who are officially living abroad — whether this is to work or study on the day the UK officially leaves the EU — their card will continue to prove eligibility for the same state-funded healthcare as the citizens of the country receive.
DO IT AS SOON AS YOU BOOK
Insurance is all about covering the unpredictable events that may occur before your holiday or when you finally reach your destination. Because of that, it’s important that you purchase your insurance as soon as you book your holiday, as it can cover potential cancellations and pre-trip illnesses; a small financial decision and price to pay, if you will, for saving you a potential fortune in the long run. In terms of finding the best deal, there’s no question about it, comparison sites more often than not reveal the cheapest deal when it comes to travel insurance and such are the very least due diligence one should take before buying it.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE SMALL PRINT
It’s important that you analyse the policies that come with any travel insurance you purchase, as different companies will offer different levels of coverage. It is unlikely that they will cover high-risk activities. It’s important to consider what type of holiday you’re going on — if it’s active like skiing, you must inform your insurer to get the best cover. Of course, you want to have fun when you’re on holiday and you don’t want to miss out on any sporting excursions. If you have concerns, you must ask the organisers as high risk activities can invalidate any insurance policies if you’re not properly protected.
Pay attention to the small print too. For example, if you’ve consumed alcohol and need medical attention some insurance companies will reject your claim — in extreme cases, they could seek out court rulings and will supply the court with medical records that say you had alcohol in your blood. It’s important to remember that in hot countries, your body will absorb alcohol more easily too. Finally, if you have something stolen from you when you’re abroad, you must have substantial evidence that will back your claims, and obtain a police report and incident number if you’re to recoup your losses properly.