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Don’t travel without insurance, holidaymakers told

Don’t travel without insurance, holidaymakers told

Category: Travel

Updated: 28/10/2010
First Published: 02/07/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Britons planning on a break abroad have been warned that scrimping on travel insurance could lead to a costly trip.

With medical care abroad more expensive than ever, cutting back on holiday cover could well turn into false economy should the unforeseen happen, Direct Line has warned.

The company's own figures show that in 2007 the average claim for medical care amounted to £427. That figure increased by 58 per cent last year, with the average claim totalling £678.

The cost could well increase even further this year.

The European Health Insurance Card, commonly known as the E111, has long been a must have when travelling across Europe. However, accidents or illnesses that require long term treatment or care may not be covered by the document.

An additional insurance policy is likely to cover such services as translation facilities and flights to more suitable medical facilities if necessary.

As flying home injured can include specialist seating arrangements and a medical escort, the costs can run into tens of thousands.

"Being caught without travel insurance in the event of an accident or falling ill could lead you to paying out hundreds, if not thousands of pounds in medical care and repatriation costs," said head of travel at Direct Line, Chris Price.

On the E111, he commented: "It is not a travel insurance replacement. We advise all holidaymakers to protect themselves by making sure they are insured against any losses in case the worst happens." The E111 has since been replaced by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

EHIC: European Health Insurance Card
The Department of Health has set up an enquiry line for any problems relating to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC enquiry line is: 0845 605 0707.

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