ABI Highlights Importance of Travel Insurance


Posted in General on 17 September 2013

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) recently published the results of a survey it commissioned investigating the importance of travel insurance.

The data gathered by the ABI shows that in 2004 medical claims accounted for 1 in 3 of the total travel insurance claims, however in 2012 claims for medical treatment represented more than 1 in 2, which is a significant increase in the number of emergency medical treatment claims over the 8 year period.

During this time, not only has the number of medical claims increased but also the average cost of medical claims has increased substantially: in 2012 the average medical claim cost £900, nearly 50% higher than the cost in 2004. The same time frame has also seen a rise in the number of claims that have cost insurers in excess of £100,000.

The survey results show that on average travel insurers helped 4,600 travellers a week who needed emergency medical help while abroad, which cost the equivalent of £4 million a week in medical claims. Voyager has compiled a list of some common illnesses suffered abroad and the approximate cost of treatment in some popular holiday destinations. In the UK, obviously these ailments would be taken care of by the National Health Service (NHS), however, if you do not have travel insurance to cover any emergency medical treatment you may require, you would be expected to pay a proportion or all of the costs, depending on the country.

  UK USA Spain Thailand Greece
Gastro (In Patient 2 days) NHS £10,000.00 £3,000.00 £2,500.00 £3,000.00
Heart Attack          
Heart Attack NHS £50,000.00 £15,000.00 £15,000.00 £15,000.00
With a CABG (Heart Bypass) NHS £150,000.00 £45,000.00 £45,000.00 £45,000.00
Dr Escorted Repatriation N/A £18,000.00 £6,000.00 £20,000.00 £6,000.00
Broken Leg          
No Surgery NHS £6,000.00 £1,500.00 £2,000.00 £1,500.00
Surgery NHS £20,000.00 £8,000.00 £12,000.00 £8,000.00
Business Class Upgrade Home N/A £4,000.00 £2,500.00 £4,000.00 £2,500.00

Source: Healix

Exchange rate fluctuations can also have an impact on the costs of medical treatment, particularly when large costs are involved; which is worth bearing mind when converting the costs of medical treatment abroad.

As you can see the costs of medical treatment in other countries, particularly in the USA, can be extremely expensive and many people could not afford to pay for it, should the worst happen, which is why it makes sense to purchase a good quality travel insurance policy before you go on holiday.

It is worth remembering that travel insurance not only covers you in case of emergency medical expenses but it should also protect you against cancellation or curtailment of your holiday, travel delay, missed departure and provide cover for lost or stolen personal belongings.

A Worldwide Annual Multi-trip policy, if you are under the age of 64, from Voyager costs under £80; when you consider the potential costs associated with emergency medical treatment above, seems like remarkable value for money.

Click here to buy your Voyager Travel Insurance online

Click here to read the full ABI report

Author: Adam

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