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Henry Smith: Uninsured Travel Warning

Henry Smith MP has joined with ABTA – the Travel Association and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in warning people in Crawley about the dangers of travelling uninsured.

Henry said;“When looking ahead to a summer holiday, it’s important to remember that medical costs arising from uninsured accidents abroad can be very significant indeed.

 “In addition to the worry over a sick or injured relative, it is often families who are presented with the bills, and the added stress of covering these.

 “It’s very important that we make sure that when travelling overseas, we’re covered if something goes wrong – it’s just not worth taking the risk.

 “Travel insurance really is a travel essential – this is why I’m pleased to support this campaign, and urge people in Crawley and those flying from Gatwick to take out travel insurance this summer.”

Travelling abroad uninsured can cost thousands of pounds if a trip goes wrong. According to new research by ABTA – the Travel Association, almost one quarter (24%) of people from the South East do not think it is necessary to take out insurance when they travel overseas,

Of those who did not take out insurance, two fifths (40%) of people do not think they need to take it out and nearly two fifths (37%) of people claim that they are willing to take the risk of travelling uninsured.

Almost two in ten (18%) people also think that a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) acts as a full insurance policy when abroad. However, an EHIC only provides access to state medical care in the European Economic Area and does not cover other costs such as bringing the individual back to the UK.

One in ten people surveyed wrongly presumed that all of their treatment costs would be covered by the UK Government if they had an accident or fell ill while abroad.

In reality it is the holidaymaker or their family who will pick up the bill if they are not covered, and this can range from £500 to treat a sprained ankle in a popular holiday resort like Corfu, £15,000-20,000 for a scheduled flight, stretcher and medical escort from Australia and £40,000 to treat a broken leg in the USA.

Serious injuries can also lead to bills of thousands of pounds which can rapidly escalate to very substantial sums – and this is before the added cost of relatives flying out and staying in-destination to accompany a loved one.

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