Consumers are being warned that cheap travel insurance is not worth the paper it’s written on.
The alert from Barrhead Travel came as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office promoted a video on the hidden cost of accidents and healthcare abroad on social media.
The video highlights that costs for healthcare can become extortionate for travellers if they fail to have appropriate cover, with the average price of a seeing a doctor costing £1,750.
The FCO video reveals costs for a relatively low-key operation, such as a broken leg due to a white-water rafting accident, tallying up to a bill of £14,052 abroad – inclusive of helicopter ambulance.
Sharon Munro, chief executive of the 61-branch Scottish agency chain, said: “Travel insurance should be a crucial part of everyone’s holiday. This means buying a policy from a reputable company which gives cover for medical expenses, lost baggage and documents, cancellation protection and delays.”
But many travel policies do not offer sufficient cover and people can be left with a huge expense.
Should someone fall ill on holiday with a disease that they haven’t had vaccinations for or taken the required medicine, then a sub-standard policy might not cover the medical treatment required.
Munro added: “Almost all travel insurance policies provide basic cover, however, the number and types of activities that each policy would stretch to varies widely.
“Travellers need to plan ahead and be sure that they know what kind of travel insurance they need.
“For example, those expecting to do endurance treks or extreme sports, or carry a large amount of cash will also need to buy a policy which has appropriate cover fit-to-purpose.”
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