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Half of short stay holidaymakers go without travel insurance

21 June 2007
Figures from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) show that 50% of people going on short-stay holidays abroad don’t bother to take out travel insurance. The research also showed that 13% of people going on holiday for at least a week are not covered.

And this is a dangerous risk to take, according to the FCO, whose website warns “You could fall ill or have an accident; you could have money or luggage stolen; your visit might be cancelled or cut short through injury or illness; your family may need to fly out to be with you if there is a serious incident.”

If you do become ill or involved in an accident and need to be rushed home, the cost of returning to the UK can reach thousands of pounds. According to figures from First Assist, it will cost up to £30,000 for an Air Ambulance from the East coast of USA, up to £16,000 from the Canaries and £10-£12,000 from the Balearics.

It would cost up to £20,000 for a scheduled flight with a doctor from Australia and up to £12,000 from the West coast of the USA. Even for an air taxi from, Northern France could reach £3,000.

James Caldwell, director of independent online financial services website Fair Investment Company says it is not worth taking the risk.

“It is alarming that so many people are going away on holiday without making sure they are adequately covered with travel insurance,” he said. “As the figures show you could end up paying out thousands of pounds on treatment and care that would be covered if you had taken out a travel insurance policy.

“Taking out travel insurance is simple. There are plenty of competitive deals on the market if you shop around, and it could save you a small fortune.”

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