Travel insurance makes medicine abroad an easier pill to swallow

Travel insurance makes medicine abroad an easier pill to swallow

Jun 24, 2018

Travel tech specialist Aquarium Software is warning the millions of holidaymakers who continue to travel without insurance of this risks they are taking, as numerous travellers continue to get into trouble with the authorities over the medicines they take abroad.

Despite high profile cases in the media, consumers still seem unaware that drugs legal in the UK, could well be banned elsewhere and insurance is vital. Falling foul of the law is never a good thing, not least overseas; fines, or imprisonment can follow for those who, however unknowingly, break the rules.

In December 2017, Laura Plummer, a 33 year old British woman was stopped in Egypt carrying Tramadol. Unaware she had done anything wrong, Laura was sentenced to three years in prison; yet it could have been much worse - 25 years, or even the death penalty.

“Most people know to avoid drugs on holiday, but this can apply to prescribed medication and is another example of why travel insurance can be so important,” said Aquarium Software Director, Mark Colonnese.

“People can run into trouble for all sorts of innocent reasons and a good policy will give vital legal cover should you find yourself in such a situation. Medical conditions must be fully disclosed to the insurer, but it is well worth a visit to your GP several weeks before travel, to check there will be no concerns traveling with your specific medication and that you will have sufficient to cover the trip.” 

Technology is allowing insurers to help travellers more than ever, with online medical screening to assure proper cover before travel, while advice can be sent straight to smartphone about dos and don’ts, particularly when it comes to medicines.

Increasing such services has the potential to transform travel insurance into an indispensable product, when only 33 percent of UK travellers seek advice on medication rules prior to travel.

“Too many still do not disclose pre-existing medical conditions, which can invalidate insurance, but doing so means less likelihood of problems should the worst happen,” added Colonnese.

Ms Plummer had a problem because the drug is illegal in Egypt and was not prescribed for her. Carrying medicine for others is never a good idea, but sadly people continue to learn the hard way,” concluded Colonnese.