Britons going on holiday this summer are strongly encouraged to read the small print on their travel insurance policy to make sure it covers adventure activities like quad biking or water sports.
A new survey reveals that fewer than half of young Brits check that their insurance covers risky pursuits, despite four out of five admitting that they take part in more adventurous behaviour when on holiday.
Consular Sections in Italy have first-hand experience of the distress caused to young people who suffer accidents, only to find out that they can’t get home or they face a hefty medical bill because their insurance policy fails to cover dangerous sports.
Holidays in warm weather – with the occasional beer or two - make Britons more confident, more inclined to try new things and less inhibited, the survey of young travellers found.
British Consul, David Broomfield says:
Most Brits will think that hiring a quad bike for the afternoon, hang gliding or going out on a jet ski for an hour is not a risky pursuit – but their insurance company probably does. That’s why it’s so important that holidaymakers check their insurance policy before they buy, and make sure they have full cover for everything they’re planning to do.
We will do what we can to support anyone who needs help. But we cannot pay medical bills or fly people home. We deal with quite a number of cases every year where an already distressing accident or injury is made much worse by having to worry about large, uninsured costs as well. In some cases parents have had to remortgage their homes, just to get their children back home.
The average claim for a personal accident is £7,500, according to a Post Office survey, so it’s all the more important to get the right cover for a trip, including adventure activities.
As well as travel insurance, the Foreign Office and The Travel Association ABTA also want holidaymakers to ensure they can get basic medical care. A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available free from the NHS, covers all necessary medical care in a state hospital during a temporary stay in Italy. But it does not provide for private care or services such as medical repatriation by air ambulance, which can be very expensive. That’s why travel insurance matters.
Details of how the Foreign Office can assist British nationals when things go wrong abroad are outlined in Support for British Nationals Abroad.