It's the holiday season - at last. Time to think about the year gone by, eat some nice healthy low fat turkey meat - and maybe even take a little trip abroad.
If you find yourself overseas then there's a good chance you will have thought out all the different things to make sure you've organised before making the trip. Things like cancelling the newspaper deliver while you're away and getting your health travel insurance sorted.
Travel insurance is extremely important and you'd simply assume that every single person who went abroad would have purchases travel cover. Not so. In fact - and this is really quite amazing - around a fifth of travellers aren't covered. But it's not down to an overly laid back, "oh whatever" kind of attitude when people go uninsured. In fact it's often down to a mistaken belief that the government would pay for any treatment needed.
In the case of people who are living abroad longer term, in most cases experts strongly recommend international medical insurance - this is because treatment can be expensive and in some countries the state medicla facilities can be quite basic. This type of cover also includes medical repatriation - which is very dear indeed if you haven't got expat cover and end up having to pay for it out of your own funds
For an interesting look around various world country's health systems in brief, then take a look at the travel section within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website - it's very useful for finding out in which countries you need medical insurance. the site also has useful information on the general safety of places including a guide to the number of annual visitors who've required consular assistance in the past year.