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Holidaymakers warned they face ‘financial ruin’ if they are uninsured for travel

Holidaymakers who fail to take out travel insurance are risking “financial ruin”, experts have warned.

Travel trade organisation Abta said emergency medical costs have “gone through the roof” in recent years. It cited figures from insurer Axa Assistance showing the increase in the cost of an air ambulance flight back to the UK for someone falling seriously ill or having a major accident on a foreign holiday.

Flight prices from the European Union rose from 15,000-20,000 euros (£12,800-£17,100) in 2019 to 25,000-30,000 euros (£21,300-£25,600) last year. Over the same period, flights from other parts of the world more than doubled in price, from 25,000-30,000 euros (£21,300-£25,600) to 75,000-85,000 euros (£64,000-£72,600).

Abta said air ambulance and other medical costs should be covered by comprehensive travel insurance policies. It warned holidaymakers not to rely on the general health insurance card as it only allows UK citizens to access state medical care in the European Union and a handful of other destinations, and does not cover air ambulance costs.

Graeme Buck, Abta director of communications, said: “Every year we see very sad stories of uninsured people who have fallen ill or had an accident whilst overseas and are running up large medical bills. They often resort to setting up a Go Fund Me page or similar, but they will now find they need to raise substantially more money, with air ambulance and other medical costs having gone through the roof. It is simply not worth the risk of financial ruin simply to save a few pounds, so always take out travel insurance at the time of booking your holiday or other travel arrangements.”

Jennifer Anderson, director for consular and crisis at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, said: “Travelling without insurance can be expensive and distressing if things do go wrong when you are abroad. The good news is that purchasing the right travel insurance does not take long and could save you a lot of money and stress.

“I encourage anyone booking travel to make sure your travel insurance covers the places you visit, the duration of your visit and any planned activities, and do disclose any medical conditions so your cover remains valid.”

View news Source: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/travel-tourism/holidaymakers-warned-face-financial-ruin-29083355

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