Travel insurance medical claim bill hits eight-year high of £209m
Travel insurers helped 153,000 British travellers needing emergency medical treatment abroad during the past year. That’s the equivalent of 420 people every day, or one person every three minutes.
The total medical bill paid by insurers was £209m – £570,000 every day – the highest figure since 2010, according to the ABI.
Of the £399m paid out on all travel insurance claims, medical claims accounted for 52 per cent of claim costs, followed by cancellation costs at 36 per cent, then lost baggage or money at 4 per cent.
Examples of the costs of overseas emergency medical treatment include:
- £200,000 to treat a traveller on a cruise in China who suffered a brain haemorrhage. This included an air ambulance back to the UK from Hong Kong.
- £153,000 for treating a broken arm caused by falling out of a bed in San Francisco. This included paying for the flight back home.
- £137,000 to treat a fractured spine resulting from a bathroom fall in Thailand, including return to the UK.
- £89,000 to pay the medical bill for a holidaymaker who suffered a heart attack while visiting Turkey.
Without insurance, injured travellers who need an air ambulance back to the UK can expect to pay about £75,000 from Asia, £50,000 from the US and £13,500 from Italy.
Charlie Campbell, ABI’s manager of health and protection, said: “For too many people holidays can become horror days, if they fall ill or suffer a serious injury abroad. Needing medical treatment can be stressful wherever you are, without the added worry of how you can afford what can be sky high medical bills. Yet the average travel insurance policy costs less than what an average family can spend on drinks and food at the airport and will pay emergency medical bills than can easily run into six figures.