We all go on holiday to take time out from every day working life and soak up some sun, sea the sights and maybe take in some cultural events while abroad.
But are you fully insured when you go on holiday? A recent survey by the British Dental health Foundation (BDHF) carried out among UK holidaymakers shows this may not be the case for all of us. In fact, the research findings indicate that a third of people off on holiday overseas don’t have any dental cover for their time away from home.
Medical cover is of course an essential for people going to a foreign country – the simple fact being that if you don’t have cover, any medical treatment you require is likely to incur a bill – and sometimes a hefty one at that. While most of us remember to get insurance before we board the plane, it’s easy to forget to check just what we’re covered for. And perhaps as a result of this, the survey showed that over half of the respondents didn’t know if dental protection was included in their cover. This is why – as always – it’s best to check the terms of your cover and be sure you know what’s included on your policy.
The BDHF also recommend that, in addition to travel insurance, holidaymakers apply for the European Health insurance Card (EHIC) which gives cardholders access to reduced price healthcare and in some cases heathcare free of charge. But the foundation stresses that having an EHIC doesn’t equate to international private health insurance.
If you’re looking for more info about the particular country you’re heading off to, then there is a good range of resources available online such as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s country guides. These not only give a good description of what to expect from the healthcare system in foreign places, they’re also handy for a host of other information including cultural points to look out for. And if you’re planning a long term trip abroad it may be worth checking out some of the expatriate forums where you can read about the first hand experiences of others, or drop in with your own questions.
As the BDHF Chief Executive says, it’s “better to be safe than sorry” when planning a trip abroad – and of course there’s also a peace of mind factor when you set off abroad, knowing that you’re covered.
Jen Jones is a health and travel enthusiast writes for a number of websites and blogs on subjects including health and dental insurance plans, nutrition, and workplace wellbeing