Don’t get caught out if you conk out abroad
Two million face a bill for thousands if they breakdown abroad
Almost two million motorists risk being thousands of pounds out of pocket when they venture abroad without breakdown cover.
Research from Britannia Rescue shows 4.27million people plan to drive in Europe this summer and nearly four in ten (39%) will hit the road with no cover should their vehicle break down.
Worryingly, nearly a quarter (23%) have not even thought about what would happen if they broke down on holiday. And 7% assume their UK breakdown insurance covers them for travelling abroad too.
Some 6% think their car insurance covers breakdown abroad and 3% believe it is included on travel insurance policies. The truth is, if your car breaks down in Europe and it cannot be fixed, you are looking at £1,000 or more to have it brought back to the UK.
Costs could escalate even higher if you decide to continue your holiday and hire a car.
You cannot drive a hire car out of the country and will have to find other means of getting the family back to the UK, which could mean expensive, last-minute flights or journeys by ferry.
It can be tempting to save a bit of cash during these tough times but not having the right cover for your car would be a false economy if the worst happens on your holiday.
And there is a definite risk as around 6% – that’s half a million drivers – have broken down overseas in the last
five years alone.
Ian Crowder, from the AA, says:
Although cars are more reliable than they used to be, things can go seriously wrong with modern cars.
“And it’s a lot less straightforward to put things right than it used to be.
“People may only do short journeys at home but then they take their car on a long 1,000-mile journey and problems can happen.
“The other important thing for drivers is to make sure their car insurance covers them for driving abroad. All polices are different.
“Some policies include driving abroad. Others may offer it as an extra cost. And there are some firms which don’t cover travel overseas. It is really important to check.”
Shockingly, up to a third of people jet off abroad without travel insurance, leaving their health and pockets at risk.
While you might be counting the pennies and bagging a bargain break, this is one area you should not scrimp on or it could cost you dearly.
Cancellations, delays and lost luggage are inconvenient, but it’s the medical cover that is crucial.
Get ill on holiday without insurance and the bills will soon mount up to hundreds, perhaps even thousands of pounds.
If, for any reason you need to be repatriated home, you will find there is no help from the Government or any other organisation and you will be left stranded, unless you can cough up tens of thousands of pounds.
Hospital stays could set you back around £1,500 for two nights in Europe and an air ambulance from Spain can cost from £8,000 to £16,000.
If you need to get back from the United States that will cost a hefty £35,000.
Many travelers to Europe think the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is the same as travel insurance.
It isn’t, it just gives you the right to access to medical help, but only at the same level as the locals in the country you are visiting.
Many countries don’t have a free national health service like we do and people have to pay for treatments. The more worrying thing is that many of those who do take out travel insurance find they have got a duff deal and discover they are not covered when they get hit by a holiday disaster.
Figures from the Financial Ombudsman Service show complaints about travel insurance have shot up, from 1,836 in 2010/11 to 2,431 in 2011/12.
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