New FCDO Campaign Urges Travellers to Avoid Invalidating Insurance Cover
As the summer holiday season begins and schools break up, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has launched a campaign to remind British travellers of the importance of ensuring their travel insurance is valid. The new campaign aims to guide travellers on the necessary steps to take in order to ensure their insurance policies cover them during their summer holidays.
Inadequate travel insurance can potentially lead to significant costs for travellers if something goes wrong abroad. However, with a few simple checks, travellers can save themselves unnecessary stress and expense.
The Importance of Proper Travel Insurance
The FCDO’s campaign emphasizes the need for travellers to have adequate insurance cover. Without it, travellers could face bills totaling tens of thousands of pounds in case of emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. For example, medical treatment for a broken leg in the Canary Islands could cost over £10,000, while an accident in Greece requiring surgery and flights back to the UK could result in a bill of up to £30,000.
The FCDO wants to ensure that British citizens who are hospitalized abroad and unable to pay their medical bills or for medical evacuation can receive the necessary support and assistance.
The Steps to Ensure Valid Travel Insurance
The FCDO campaign encourages British travellers to take several key steps to avoid invalidating their travel insurance. These steps include:
- Declaring any pre-existing medical conditions before the trip
- Verifying that the insurance covers planned holiday activities, such as water sports
- Ensuring that the duration of the trip does not exceed any time limits specified in the insurance policy
- Verifying that the travel insurance includes medical evacuation cover
- Taking a printed copy of the insurance policy and saving the insurance company’s 24/7 emergency contact number and policy number on their phone
- Sharing travel insurance policy details with travel companions and/or family members staying in the UK
Advice from Industry Professionals
Jennifer Anderson, FCDO Director of Consular Services, emphasizes the importance of arranging appropriate travel insurance, stating that it is an essential requirement for all Brits heading overseas this summer. Taking the necessary steps to secure the right travel insurance can save individuals thousands of pounds in medical bills if any problems arise during their trips.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), reminds holidaymakers to carefully consider the type of travel insurance they need. It should provide appropriate cover for planned activities and any existing health conditions. It is also crucial to check the policy’s terms regarding cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances.
Louise Clark, Policy Adviser at the Association of British Insurers, stresses the vital protection and peace of mind that travel insurance provides. She advises travellers to answer all questions truthfully when purchasing insurance, especially regarding any pre-existing medical conditions. Policies can vary, so understanding the coverage provided and selecting the most suitable policy based on individual needs is essential.
Additional Considerations and Resources
In addition to having valid travel insurance, the FCDO advises travellers to prepare for their trips by reviewing their foreign travel checklist. This checklist covers necessary steps, such as ensuring passport validity and arranging for any required health prescriptions. Additionally, travellers can access the latest information on their destinations by checking the travel advice on GOV.UK and signing up for email alerts. The FCDO’s travel advice provides up-to-date information on entry requirements, local laws and customs, and healthcare provisions in over 200 countries and territories.
Travellers are also reminded that while possessing a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or a valid UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can enable them to access reduced-cost or free state healthcare in Europe, these cards do not replace the need for travel insurance. They also do not cover costs such as repatriation to the UK or additional accommodation expenses in the foreign country. Furthermore, the level of free public healthcare can vary across countries, potentially limiting access to specialized treatments compared to what one would receive in the UK.
The FCDO’s campaign serves as a timely reminder for British travellers to ensure their insurance cover is valid before embarking on their summer holidays. By taking the necessary steps and obtaining adequate insurance, travellers can enjoy their trips with peace of mind, knowing that they are protected should any unforeseen situations arise.