‘You think the embassy will help – but it won’t’
house,” Ms Quanbrough, who is a full-time carer for Luna, now almost two, told Telegraph Money. The couple joined the 3,000 British holidaymakers a week who are in need of emergency treatment and call on their insurers. Medical costs accounted for 52pc of all payouts last year, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), yet a fifth of holidaymakers travel uninsured.
Waiting anxiously outside the hospital, Mr Dadds called a hotline supplied by Post Office travel insurance, which connected him to Emergency Assistance Facilities. set up a campaign on GoFundMe which has raised over £34,000 and Charles’s mother plans to remortgage her house.
Emergency medical treatment for British travellers costs £4m every week, according to the ABI. Two weeks of stroke care in the United States costs £233,000; it is £118,000 for surgery and recovery in east Africa after choking; £95,000 after a road accident in central America.
Support from British embassies can be scant. The Foreign Office told Ms McLaughlin it could not coordinate Charles’s repatriation or a loan for an air ambulance.
Ms Quanbrough and Mr Dadds said they had experienced similar frustrations. “The first thing the embassy in the UAE told us was ‘we don’t get involved in local laws’,” Mr Dadds said. “People call the embassy before their insurer thinking it will help but it didn’t.”
The Foreign Office website states: “Get comprehensive travel insurance [or] you will normally have to pay the costs of any emergency, including medical evacuation. There is no legal right to consular assistance. It is provided at our discretion.”
Fiona Macrae of Travel Insurance Explained said: “If travelling while pregnant, find a policy that offers cover to fly another family member out to support you should you have the baby early.”
Citizens Advice said you should keep receipts to support your claim. “Try to get your insurer to agree to treatment in advance. Tell them about existing health problems or you may not be covered.”
Mr Dadds said: “Insurance money is one thing, but you also need support. It was very, very lonely in that hotel room.”
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The couple named their baby Luna after a supermoon that appeared the day before