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No defence for no travel insurance as clean sweep for English teams in European football finals

Travelling football fans spurred on to arrange travel insurance so that they do not feel blue and end up in the red if disaster strikes.

With tens of thousands of Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea supporters planning to travel to the Champions League and Europa Cup Finals, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is urging all fans planning their trips to make sure that they arrange travel insurance cover before they go. At least 45,000 supporters of the four clubs are likely to be travelling to either Madrid, Spain or Baku, Azerbaijan.

The semi-final drama and tension of Liverpool beating Barcelona and Spurs late injury time winner against Ajax is nothing compared to the stress and expense of falling ill and needing emergency medical treatment abroad. If going to Madrid, while you should ensure  that you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), as this gives you access to state-provided healthcare available to a resident, it is no substitute for having travel cover, as this can ensure that all medical costs, and any emergency repatriation back to the UK, are covered.

If travelling to Baku, the EHIC does not apply, so having travel insurance is essential.

Overseas medical bills can be eye-watering. In Spain for example, £11,000 to treat a broken arm, with one night in intensive care typically costing £1,100-£1,500. In Azerbaijan’s neighbour Russia, a British traveller who suffered a heart attackhad his £22,000 medical bill covered by travel insurance

If you need to return home urgently on medical grounds, the cost of an air ambulance back from Spain to the UK can start from £10,000 – that may be what Mo Salah or Harry Kane earn in just eight hours but will be way beyond the resources of most supporters.

Every year 500,000 UK travellers are helped by travel insurance when things go wrong, including 159,000 people who need emergency medical treatment. 

Malcolm Tarling, ABI spokesperson, said:

Fans travelling to Madrid or Baku without travel insurance will have scored a massive own goal before a ball is kicked. It would be like Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea leaving their goalkeeper at home. Travel insurance could cost you less than the price of a meal and a drink at the airport, and can ensure that you never walk alone if the worst happens.”

The ABI’s top travel insurance tips for travelling fans:

  • Make sure that you have adequate travel insurance before you leave.
  • Don’t just buy the cheapest policy. Travel insurance is very competitively priced, so make sure that the policy covers your needs.
  • Fully disclose any pre-existing medical conditions. You may need to shop around, go to a specialist travel insurer or insurance broker to get a policy that covers any existing medical condition.
  • Check your travel insurance terms and conditions carefully before you go, so that you understand the scope of cover, limits, and conditions.
  • Take any emergency contact details of your travel insurer with you, should you need to contact them urgently.
  • Leave expensive items like laptops, at home as they are a magnet for thieves. Travel insurance policies will give limited cover for your possessions, so check your cover.
  • Go easy on the alcohol. Excess alcohol could leave you more at risk of suffering an injury or being a victim of crime. And if your claim is as result of excessive alcohol, then you may not be covered by your travel insurance.




Notes for Editors


Enquiries to:
Malcolm Tarling                        020 7216 7410    Mobile: 07776 147667
Sarah Cordey                           020 7216 7375    Mobile: 07860 189071
Dominic Stannard                     020 7216 7350    Mobile: 07725 245838


1. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry.

A productive, inclusive and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation.


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3. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, www.abi.org.uk.


Last updated 10/05/2019