Ten Brits hospitalized abroad every day

International health insurance

The UK’s FCO has advised British travellers this summer to ensure they have the correct medical insurance.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has again reminded British expats and travellers to take out suitable health insurance for their time abroad. With statistics showing 10 Brits are hospitalized overseas every day adequate coverage is essential to avoid hefty medical bills.

The FCO recommends a comprehensive international health policy, policyholders should always check the small print. The fact some companies won’t pay out if the claimant has been drinking, is an example of fine print many people do not study. People also need to look at the health issues of the area they are moving or travelling to. Making sure they can receive malaria medication, vaccinations and other international treatment that could be needed.

In the year from 1st April 2011 to March 31st 2012, staff at the FCO dealt with 19,874 separate cases of assistance, including 70 hospital visits every week. Perhaps unsurprisingly, consular assistance is most often required in Spain. Over a thousand hospitalizations of British nationals was recorded.

However, when you compare the proportion of visitors to the number of help requests, the most dangerous nations are Greece, the Philippines and Thailand. Research by the FCO revealed 48 percent of people questioned were unaware they would have to pay their own medical bills if they didn’t have sufficient coverage.

In addition, 78 percent said they would be unable to help an uninsured relative or friend who had £10,000 in medical bill as they wouldn’t have enough funds. “I urge anyone heading overseas this summer to research their destination, take out comprehensive travel insurance and carefully check the small print of their policy,” minister for consular services Jeremy Browne said.