The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has revealed that a record number of Brits are being hospitalised abroad. It's another sign of the importance of travel insurance.
The figures show that an average of 70 British people need hospital treatment abroad every year. While heart attacks are a leading cause, pedestrians being hit by cars and people falling from balconies are also common. That's led to the surprising situation in which teenagers are among the most likely to need treatment, a particularly important point given many youngsters in good health may feel they are unlikely to experience medical problems.
Spain remains the main accident and illness hotspot, making up nearly 30 percent of cases, largely because of the sheer number of Brits who go there. While it's true that the free European Health Insurance Card entitles Brits to treatment in many European countries on the same basis as locals, this is by no means a substitute for travel insurance. The EHIC doesn't cover transportation costs such as air ambulances, the costs of repatriation to the UK, or the costs associated with friends or family extending their stay to be by the patient's side.