I was on a flight to Barbados between Christmas and New Year and sitting next to a lovely couple we invariably starting chatting. The topic of work came up the and the couple were intrigued as to what I did for a living. I did explain that I was an International flight nurse and dealt with the medical repatriation of those that were sick or injured whilst out of the UK.
The couple then stated that they had not taken out insurance because they thought that nothing would happen to them. I explained to them that I knew that 49% of travellers leaving the UK were uninsured and the cost of a medical repatriation was not something that they had even considered. The cost of an average air ambulance from Europe was £10-£20,000. The cost of a medical commercial In Flight Nurse escort was less.
The emotional cost of uninsured passengers is great. I escorted a gentleman from Prague years ago. He was uninsured, and stepped out of the airport looked the wrong way and was hit by a tram. His injuries were severe and he needed to have a stretcher on a commercial aircraft to get him home.
He was on a stag weekend and was only supposed to be away for 3 days. His wife had to remortgage the house.
For some and because of pre-existing conditions they are uninsurable or the cost of the insurance is far far greater than the cost of the holiday.