Many hours are spent planning an overseas holiday, with hotel bookings, flights and activities to be chosen. Sadly, one of the most important parts of a holiday is being overlooked, with 48% of British travellers aged 18-24 neglecting to buy travel health insurance in the 2011- 2012 period.
Of particular concern are the thousands of young adventure-seekers who believe that travel insurance isn't necessary when visiting Europe, due to owning a European Health Insurance card. Unfortunately, an EHIC card could only covers necessary medical care, and not things like repatriation.
The root of the problem is the common misconception that the UK government will provide help for residents if they are stranded overseas, or need emergency medical treatment. Unfortunately this is not the case due to the costs involved, and many young Brits are finding this out the hard way.
In 2012 there were 3,793 British holiday-makers that were hospitalised while on holiday overseas. Statistically speaking, almost half of these people were not covered by health insurance, and the costs involved can quickly turn a dream vacation into a waking nightmare.
82% of young people admit that their inhibitions are forgotten when on holiday, and they often indulge in more adventurous behaviour, such as bungee jumping or white-water rafting. Despite this fact, fewer than half of them make sure that their travel insurance covers adventure-travel activities.
Sometimes comprehensive health insurance is anything but comprehensive, and adventure travellers need to check the fine print of their travel insurance plan. Half of the people who admitted to adventure travel holidays in 2012 stated that they didn't take the time to check how broad their cover was.
If the worst case scenario unfolds, and a Brit requires emergency medical treatment overseas, the costs can be astronomical compared to the subsidised health cover enjoyed at home. An average medical insurance claim costs around 900 pounds, which can be more than the entire holiday budget.
For more serious accidents, the costs involved in treating an expat overseas can quickly escalate. An example case in 2012 involved a British traveller who suffered from a simple stomach bug and was treated in a Californian hospital. After the treatment costs and return flights were calculated, the bill came to a whopping hundred thousand pounds.
Almost half of the Brits surveyed in 2012 believed that it would cost 5 thousand pounds or less to treat a broken leg in the USA health system. The real figure is more than eight times this amount, with extras such as medication and other complications quickly adding to the final tally.
Established in late 1992 and trading since 1993, Direct Travel Insurance specialises in travel insurance for individual travellers, couples and families up to the age of 75. Direct Travel Insurance offers a range of cover options and added benefits including cover for over 100 sports and activities enabling customers to tailor their policies for single trip, annual multi trip, backpacking and winter sports.
All travel insurance policies are underwritten by AIG Europe Limited. Direct Travel Insurance is a trading name of UNAT Direct Insurance Management Limited, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
This information can be checked by visiting the FCA website.
Direct Travel Insurance policies do not cover undisclosed medical conditions, trips to or through Afghanistan, Cuba Liberia and Sudan or countries where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have advised against all but essential travel.