British people are being urged to ensure they have adequate insurance before travelling abroad, after shock new figures revealed that an increasing number of Brits are hospitalised each week while overseas.
According to the Foreign Office’s annual British Behaviour Abroad report, staff handled 19,874 assistance cases in between April 2011 and 2012 – an increase of 3% from the previous year.
The report, published this week, shows that highest number of cases were in Spain, the US and France, although there has been a “significant” increase in the number of hospitalisations reported to consular staff among British people travelling to Greece and Egypt.
Last year, on average, 70 British people were hospitalised every week while abroad. Over 30% of these were in Spain – of which half were on the islands of Majorca and Ibiza which have seen a “steep” rise in cases over the past two years, the Foreign Office said.
A Foreign Office spokesman said it is important that people remember to take out and check proper insurance before travelling abroad.
The Foreign Office estimates that nearly half (48%) of Brtis who travel abroad do not realise that without travel insurance they would be liable to pay for their own medical bills if injured or taken ill abroad.
It also estimates that nearly four out of five (78%) people would not have the money to hand to pay £10,000 to cover hospital bills of an uninsured loved one abroad.
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