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Over £7.5k for a fever? Revealed: Most costly medical claims for travel insurance

Over £7.5k for a fever? Revealed: Most costly medical claims for travel insurance
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

The most common medical claim for travel insurance costs an average of £2,000, but a fifth of holidaymakers are still unsure about taking out cover, a study finds.

Over the last five years, infections and fevers have been the most common form of claim by people travelling abroad in the summer. Claiming for instances that include chicken pox or infected insect bites would set customers back an average of £1,929 if they were not covered.

The second-most common was lower limb injuries from trips or falls, which would typically cost claimants £2,184 if an accident occurred and they didn’t have suitable cover, according to Aviva’s study.

Respiratory issues were the most expensive issue to remedy for travellers, costing an average of £2,261.

Top five most common travel claims and cost

1. Infection/fever – £1,929
2. Lower limb trips, slips, falls, injury – £2,184
3. Stomach issue – £1,998
4. Respiratory – £2,261
5. Upper limb injury – £1,655

Meanwhile, one of the most loved destinations for holidaymakers to fly to during the summer, the US, could leave you £7,623 out of pocket if you caught an infection or had a fever there.

Compared to the other four most popular destinations – Spain, Greece, Turkey and France – costs go through the roof for medical claims in the States.

Holidaymakers who fell ill with a stomach issue there paid an average of £7,803 in medical claims between 2019 and 2023.

With hefty bills awaiting uninsured travellers should the unexpected happen, travellers have recently been warned not to “risk financial ruin” by going abroad without cover.

However, in a bid to cut costs down, a quarter of jetsetters opt for the cheapest travel insurance on the market, which could still leave them short thanks to gaps in their cover, according to a separate Uswitch study.

‘Worrying number of Brits travelling abroad unprotected’

Kelly Whittington, travel claims director at Aviva, says it’s “worrying” that millions of Brits are potentially travelling abroad unprotected.

Whittington said: “Although cancellation is the most common travel claim, it’s just as important to remember that travel insurance is designed to help you in the case of an unforeseen event – which includes medical emergencies.

“From ear infections [that] prevent you from travelling home on time, to more serious instances like cardiac treatment or a serious head injury, travel cover is there to protect travellers while they’re away from home, making sure they aren’t out of pocket as a result.”

Whittington added: “Taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your trip will give you peace of mind knowing that you are protected, both in the lead up to your trip and while you’re away – hopefully – soaking up the sun.”

Most common claims and costs for top five destinations

Type of claim US Spain Greece Turkey France
Infection/fever £7,623 £972 £640 £532 £532
Lower limb injury after fall £4,411 £1,747 £1,773 £1,282 £1,117
Stomach issue £7,803 £3,373 £2,183 £670 £552
Respiratory £5,990 £2,795 £1,934 £1,135 £911
Upper limb injury £5,197 £1,483 £539 £2,835 £686