09 August 2023

Accidents abroad: the importance of travel insurance

Marisha Lowe Chartered Legal Executive - Personal Injury Team Leader
Travel insurance paper work and boarding pass

It is that time of year again where we’re in the height of the summer holidays, and many will be looking forward to going away for their annual holiday abroad.

Tourists beware: this can unfortunately lead to injuries and even fatalities.

Kyle’s accident abroad

This was sadly the case recently when Kyle Barrow, a 27 year old, went abroad with friends to Turkey in June 2023. 

On the first day of his holiday, Kyle and his friends hired mopeds. As they were traveling back to their hotel, Kyle lost control of his moped and crashed into a palm tree. Tragically, as a result of the injuries he sustained, Kyle died.

This was undoubtedly devastating for Kyle’s family and friends but was compounded by the fact that the travel insurance they had purchased did not include repatriation costs. Kyle and his friends had forgotten to purchase travel insurance before they travelled and bought this once they arrived in Turkey, at a cost of £25 per person.

As Kyle’s travel insurance did not cover repatriation costs, his family and friends had to crowdfund £35,000 so Kyle could be flown home and a funeral arranged.

What to look for in a travel insurance policy

This case therefore shows the great importance of having travel insurance in place, particularly before you leave the UK.

It is essential to ensure that it covers everything possible. Policies will cover a range of things including curtailment, lost or stolen baggage and belongings, and missed departures. They also cover the costs of treatment and medical cover, should anything unfortunate happen whilst you are abroad.

It is also important to never under insure yourself simply to save money. This could have dire consequences in the event that you or a family member do require medical assistance whilst on holiday.

Ensure you have high medical cover included in your policy and that this covers repatriation costs, so you can get home in the event you or a family member are injured or fall ill. The level of cover may sound extremely high as it usually runs into millions, however, medical care and services abroad (including the cost of being returned to the UK) can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. It is therefore safer to have too much cover than too little.

Here’s our additional top tips of what to look for when you are trying to find a suitable policy for you and your family prior to your holiday:

  • Ensure you advise your travel insurer of any pre-existing medical conditions you may have, as failing to do so could result in your insurer refusing to pay out for your medical care.

  • Be aware that your insurer may not pay out if your policy does not include cover for sports and activities such as hiring out jet skis or parasailing.

  • Make sure the policy covers not only personal injury for yourself but also personal liability in the event you accidentally injure someone else or damage their property.

In the unfortunate event that you or a family member are involved in an accident this summer, get in touch with the personal injury team as soon as possible. Our personal injury solicitors are experts in accidents abroad and can advise you on the best next steps for your claim.

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