FCO warns Brits over travel insurance

Over 12 million British nationals are planning to visit friends and family abroad this year1 but new research published today by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office shows young people are more likely to buy a present for their host than take out a travel insurance policy.

The survey shows a third of people did not take out travel insurance the last time they stayed with family and friends overseas. 

More than three quarters (77 per cent) of those who stated they were visiting friends and family this year said that saving money is a key factor in this decision.

However, not taking out comprehensive travel insurance cover is often a false economy as people could face serious financial difficulty if they need medical treatment or lose valuable possessions. 

Minister for consular affairs, Jeremy Browne, said: “With over five million Britons living abroad, people are increasingly making the most of opportunities to visit their loved ones across the world.

“However, it’s important to understand that staying in someone’s home does not make you exempt from encountering serious problems.

“Take the same steps before you go as you would for any other holiday, such as taking out travel insurance and doing some pre-trip research, to ensure you are prepared if something does go wrong.”


Despite the belief that they don’t have to prepare for a holiday when visiting friends and family, 39 per cent of British nationals have ended up relying on their host when things have gone wrong during their trip.

British expats hosting visitors have to deal with a range of problems from taking their guests to hospital when they fall ill to providing financial help.

Dean Churm, British consul for Florida, said: “What would your host appreciate more?

“A box of teabags or dealing with a hefty medical bill because you had an accident and were not insured?

“Getting comprehensive travel insurance means that whilst an accident may disrupt your holiday, it won’t bankrupt you in extortionate medical or repatriation bills.”