Travellers identify health issues as their main concern before holidaying overseas

Tuesday 28, June 2011


Travellers identify health issues as their main concern before holidaying overseas


Two thirds of Europeans are planning to go away on holiday this year, according to the annual Europ Assistance Travel Barometer, and they have identified health issues as the major concern when planning their trips, over and above worries about travel delays and cancellations or terrorist threats.


69% of respondents to the survey, conducted by IPSOS, cited health problems for themselves or their family as a major concern, compared to just 42% who said concerns about strikes and travel delays would be a major factor in planning their trip, and 48% who are worried about terrorist threats.


According to Datamonitor's 2010 consumer survey, 89% of travellers go abroad with some form of travel insurance. With around 69 million visits abroad by UK residents each year, Europ Assistance reports a growing awareness of the availability and affordability of travel insurance policies that provide cover for pre-existing medical conditions.


“Europeans rightly identify health as the major issue when they are travelling, but as long as they ensure that their travel insurance meets their needs, they should be able to set off with an easy mind,” says Europ Assistance’s UK Commercial Director Peter Dingle.


Travellers should not assume that pre-existing medical conditions will exclude them from affordable insurance, but it is important to declare all medical conditions prior to travelling. When it comes to declaring conditions, there is no need to be seen by a doctor or supply medical records in order to secure sufficient medical cover. Medical screenings can be carried out over the phone, or conducted online, with straight-forward medical questions giving the insurer the information they need to offer cover.  


Of course, additional premiums depend on the severity of a condition as well as  where they are travelling, but applicants are often surprised at how little the extra cost can be to cover pre-existing medical conditions - sometimes no more than the cost of a single dinner out on holiday.


“The costs of treatment and transport home following an illness or accidents overseas can quickly mount up to five figures or more. A recent case where Europ Assistance brought home a young man who developed heart problems in New Zealand would have cost his family over £25,000 had he been insufficiently insured,” cautions Mr Dingle.


With an in-house team of medical professionals and repatriation specialists and an international network of partners offering local expertise and knowledge, Europ Assistance has always placed its emphasis on being there to help customers manage emergency situations wherever they are in the world.


The leading insurer recognises that when something serious or life-threatening happens, customers need a company that will understand and take control of their situation. They want people to talk to who will manage the situation from beginning to end, liaising with relatives at home as necessary and ensuring that all the assistance components - from emergency treatment on the spot to air ambulances or flights to bring people home – are managed and arranged for them.


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