Travel insurance essential, says FCO

Tuesday, 25 August 2009 08:00

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has urged Brits travelling abroad to get travel insurance before jetting off to avoid holiday-wrecking medical bills.

Over the year between April 2008 to March 2009, 3,146 Brits were hospitalised and 5,629 died abroad in the top 20 countries where British nationals needed help from the FCO.

As a proportion of the number of visitors, Britons were most likely to be hospitalised in Thailand, followed by Greece, Egypt and India.

According to the FCO, most of these cases were due to moped and motorbike accidents, as well as drink-related mishaps, such as balcony falls.

Foreign Office minister, Chris Bryant, said: “Getting comprehensive travel insurance means that whilst an accident may disrupt your holiday, it won’t bankrupt you in extortionate medical or repatriation bills.

“The message is clear – have a great time while you’re away, but make the necessary preparations before you go.”

A little research into local customs and laws can also prevent arrests and offending locals, the FCO added.

The FCO also warned travel insurance will probably be invalid if you have an accident whilst under the influence of alcohol – check the small print before you go.

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