Holidaymakers flooding to the Spanish Costas in preference to Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt and other trouble spots could be in for a nasty surprise if they don’t factor in the cost of travel insurance.
That’s because Spain, a traditional favourite of British tourists for more than 40 years, is also one of the most expensive places in Europe in which to fall ill.
Garry Nelson of AllClear, the specialist medical travel insurance provider, says that medical expenses in Spain are among the highest in the world.
According to figures published by AllClear last year, the average medical insurance claim in Spain is £4,845, three-quarters more than Italy (£2,676), more than twice that of France (£2,411), and over two and half times Portugal (£1,732).
Garry said: “Spanish holidays, especially to the Balearic islands, are among the holiday destinations that have recently risen in popularity as Brits abandon destinations that are perceived as being higher risk or more dangerous,” he explains.
“But if you fall ill in Spain, irrespective of whether you have an EHIC card, you may still be channelled through private hospitals rather than the state system. Therefore those travellers who don’t have medical travel insurance in place could be left with extremely high medical bills.”
Also, it is important to keep up to date with FCO guidance and to read the policies of both tour operators and travel insurance providers.
It is unlikely that holidaymakers will be insured if they have travelled to a country or region that the FCO has declared as unsafe.