MP for Carshalton and Wallington, Tom Brake, has expressed his concerns to constituents about the dangers of travelling uninsured as it can cost thousands if a trip goes wrong, often leaving families to pick up the pieces.
Research from ABTA, The Travel Association, revealed that almost one in three of Londoners travel abroad uninsured. In support of a campaign by ABTA and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Tom Brake is urging holidaymakers in Carshalton and Wallington to be prepared.
Wallington constituent Maggie Hughes experienced first-hand the importance of having fully comprehensive travel insurance when her son was brutally attacked while on holiday in Crete in 2008. Her son Robert had travel insurance, but after looking at the fine print they realised his travel insurance company did not cover him for all accidents. These excess bills that could have been prevented had the travel insurance been fully comprehensive.
Recently named Mum of the Year by Tesco’s, Maggie Hughes said “Many people who’ve been victims of crime abroad contact me for help. I’ve worked with families who had problems in India, Jamaica and all over Europe. Time and again I hear families say: ‘No-one cares about what happened to us,’ but I do because I’ve been there. There is help available, but you have to know where to look for it.
Travel insurance companies and tour offices, need to be held accountable to some degree for not informing holiday goers of although maybe more expensive, but definitely more comprehensive travel insurance that could save them thousands if the worst was to happen to them whilst 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, £15-20,000 for a scheduled flight, stretcher and medical escort from Australia and £40,000 to treat a broken leg in the USA.
Tom Brake, Carshalton and Wallington MP said: “We all look forward to our well-deserved summer holiday. However, medical costs arising from uninsured accidents abroad can be very significant indeed. Travel insurance really is a travel essential. That is why I am very happy to support this campaign and urge all my constituents to take out travel insurance this summer and ask the necessary questions before accepting it.”
Travel insurance is a necessary step in order to ensure a fun and safe holiday. To protect against surplus costs regarding health and transportation and save related family members of a holidaymaker from debt and additional hardship, the benefits of travel insurance can be experienced for as little as £25 for an annual policy. It is therefore vitally important that UK travellers understand the significance of the peace of mind and safeguard that travel insurance provides.
ABTA has an advice section on travel insurance for consumers, visit www.abta.com/travelinsurance for full details.