Travel to exotic destinations is becoming more affordable and an increasing number of people are choosing 'high risk'destinations for their holiday. In addition to the inherent risks associated with adventure holidays,there is also the risk of global terrorism. Travellers are also at risk of serious disease not commonly seen in the United Kingdom.Before travelling to such destinations it is important to determine the risks and be prepared for them.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website provides information on areas where there are local circumstances that make travelling to certain destinations unwise.
Travelling to remote areas or to developing countries also carries the additional risk of substandard medical care should you have an accident or become ill.
Destinations may have specific health risks such as malaria or yellow fever and it is important to ask about specific risks before booking your holiday.
It is surprising how many people travel abroad with either inadequate or no insurance at all. When purchasing travel insurance people regularly fail to read the small print and if they should have an accident or fall ill while abroad find that they are not insured and have to pay the cost of hospital treatment themselves. This can easily run into many thousands of pounds which can threaten your financial security.
Some tips to consider when purchasing travel insurance:
- Always purchase travel insurance when travelling abroad,even when travelling within the European Union. Although,an E111 will entitle you to emergency treatment,it will not cover the cost of repatriation should you be unable to travel home independently.
- Inform insurers in writing about your medical problems. Insurers often employ a third company to 'process claims',they will contact you family doctor while you are incapacitated abroad to establish if there is anything in your medical history that might invalidate your claim. Do not get caught out,make sure that you inform the company selling travel insurance in writing about any medical conditions that might affect your claim.
- Check the small print on your travel insurance,satisfy yourself that the cover is adequate for your intended destination and that the cost of repatriation is included.