Hospitalised Abroad: Who Covers The Cost If You Don't Have Travel Insurance?
Picture this, you are on holiday and you fall ill, you are taken to hospital where you need to stay for a week.
You didn't get travel insurance for your trip because you didn't think you'd need it - without travel insurance, who pays the medical bills?
The short answer to this question is you, if you don't have travel insurance you will have to pay the medical bills yourself. A survey by ABTA, The Travel Association, last year indicated that this could come as a shock to many travelers.
The survey revealed the worrying fact that 21% of UK travelers wrongly believed that the UK Government would cover the cost of medical treatment abroad.
The survey also showed that 1 in 5 UK travellers take a gamble by travelling without travel insurance and thus running the risk of incurring medical bills - which can easily amount to thousands of pounds or sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds as recent incidents have shown.
A case of an uninsured man having a motorcycle accident Bali shows how high those costs can be. The man's family faced bills of more than £120,000 for medical treatment and a further £110,000 for an air ambulance.
The high number of people travelling without travel insurance may be partly explained by the fact that 21% of travelers mistakenly believed that the UK Government would cover the cost if they needed medical treatment abroad.
Although the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can provide support if you are taken ill and have to spend time in hospital abroad; the important thing to remember is that they won't pay the bills. Medical treatment abroad can be extremely expensive; to avoid being faced with large bills the Foreign and Commonwealth Office urges people to take out comprehensive travel insurance every time they travel.
To be properly covered by your travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions you should declare these when you get a quote or buy a policy.