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£168,644: The potential bill for falling ill abroad

Cherry Reynard
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Cherry Reynard

AllClear highlights the perils of falling ill abroad

Travel insurance provider AllClear reveals the United States is the most expensive place to fall ill, but Brits may face a chunky bill in many of their favourite travel destinations.

After the United States, Spain and Greece lead the way, while Portugal is the cheapest place in Europe to fall ill, according to AllClear’s research.

Falling ill in the United States leaves Brits with an average medical insurance claim per person of £14,091, almost £10,000 more than its closest rival, Spain (£4,845). Southern European destinations visited by UK holidaymakers also have hugely expensive medical care: Greece has an average medical claim cost of £4,773, Cyprus £4,253 and Turkey £4,108.

The highest single claim recorded by AllClear is an eye-watering £168,644. The claim was made in the US, and is one of four North American claims to exceed the £100,000 bracket. The highest single claim in a European country was £69,009, in Greece.

Mike Rutherford, chairman of AllClear, said it is vital to have proper holiday insurance in place: “We know that there are individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions but take the risk of travelling without insurance. The cost of an average premium (£250) pales into insignificance against the average cost of a claim.”

Rutherford said people often think their EHIC card will cover them if all else fails, but that is not the case: “It only entitles you to the same treatment given to those within the country of origin; if they pay, you pay too.” AllClear specialises in travel insurance for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.

Average Claims League Table (AllClear data January 2015)

United States £14,091
Spain £4,845
Greece £4,773
Cyprus £4,253
Turkey £4,108
Italy £2,676
France £2,411
Portugal £1,732
Egypt £542