Cosmin Sarbu, Head of Travel at Admiral Insurance said: “It’s a growing trend for Brits to travel abroad for nips, tucks and cosmetic treatments – from the ubiquitous ‘Turkey teeth’ and Brazilian butt lifts to weight loss procedures. Social media is full of clinics advertising budget packages to potential patients, but while the lower costs and warmer weather offered by clinics abroad might be tempting, travellers should be aware of the risks involved.
“If people choose to head abroad for cosmetic or elective medical procedures, they will probably not be covered by their regular travel insurance policy and could be at risk of forking out thousands of pounds if things don’t go to plan. This would include any necessary treatment connected to a non-urgent procedure, or if they are forced to change their travel plans due to things like prolonged recovery time, which is quite common. While there are specialist policies available, most general travel insurance policies, like those offered by Admiral, have clear exclusions in place when it comes to travelling for non-essential treatment.
“Many of the treatments Brits are travelling abroad for are invasive and require rest and recuperation time in order to make a full recovery, which may not always be accounted for in discount package deals. But a missed flight could be the least of your worries – in the worst-case scenario, if there is a medical emergency or lengthy recovery time is needed as a result of surgery abroad, you could be faced with a huge bill for medical repatriation. Worryingly, BAAPS (the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) revealed the number of patients being treated for serious complications following cosmetic surgery abroad rose by 44% last year, so there is a real risk that things could go wrong.
“We have also seen a number of cases where customers have had claims for cosmetic dental work refused after falsely declaring the treatment was essential. It’s vital travellers are aware that all claims are investigated by insurers, and any dishonest claims will be rejected.
“We don’t want to see travellers caught out, so we’d urge them to do their research before they commit, and carefully consider the risks involved in travelling abroad for treatment, both medically and financially. Check your travel insurance policy before you travel. Don’t just assume it will cover you if anything goes wrong, as it probably won’t and you could be facing a hefty bill.”