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FCO warns not to skimp on travel insurance

More Brits lose passport on holiday in Spain

[August 13th 2008]

Skiing holidays need insurance

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued a strong appeal to British holidaymakers not to cut corners on travel insurance as it publishes its annual British Behaviour Abroad report.

The report shows that 8,304 Britons needed assistance in the US, 6,710 passports were lost in Spain, 602 Brits were hospitalised in Greece and 1,591 died in Spain over the period April 06 to March 07.

Foreign Office Minister, Meg Munn, says: “This report highlights what can go wrong on holiday. It is a reminder to all that taking out comprehensive travel insurance is a crucial part of your holiday planning and not something that should be sacrificed in order to save a few pounds.

“Helping British nationals in distress overseas is one of our most important tasks but many of the problems faced by holidaymakers are preventable. By carrying out some simple research on the laws, customs and health requirements of a country in advance, many people could prevent their holidays being ruined,” she adds.

The problems that can be encountered on holiday abroad are highlighted by the figures in the report. Last year 2,032 Brits were arrested in Spain, 33% more than the year before. Proportionally Brits are more likely to be arrested on holiday in Cyprus, closely followed by the USA and the UAE.

With rowdy behaviour by Brits on holiday in resorts in Crete and Corfu making the headlines recently, the FCO says that many arrests are due to behaviour caused by excessive drinking. It advises that travel insurance may not cover you if you have an accident whilst under the influence of alcohol.

Spain also had the highest number of hospitalisations, followed by Greece and Thailand. Locations where injuries are most likely to occur are roads, beaches, hotels, remote spots and ski slopes. Many of the hospitalisations in Thailand were a result of motorbike accidents, highlighting the dangers of driving abroad.

There was a 10% increase in passports lost in Spain, plus a high proportion lost in Australia. The FCO advice on passports is to fill in next of kin details, make a copy of the page with your details on and leave it with family or friends, and take the number of the nearest British Embassy or Consulate with you.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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