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ABI Report shows Importance of Travel Insurance      

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has recently published the survey results from its investigation into how important travel insurance is.

This data gathered by the ABI shows in 2004 claims for emergency medical expenses represented about a third of the total number of travel claims; however in 2012 these medical treatment claims accounted for more than half, showing a significant increase in the numbers of people needing to submit a claim for emergency medical treatment over the 8 year period.

Not only has the number of medical claims increased during this time but so has the average value of these claims: in 2012 an average medical claim cost insurers 900, nearly 50% higher than the cost in 2004. Over the same period there has been a significant rise in the number of claims that have cost insurers in excess of £100,000, particularly from those on long stay trips.

The ABI survey results also show that travel insurers helped some 4,600 people a week who needed emergency medical assistance whilst abroad, this cost the equivalent of £4 million a week in claims.

Responsible Travel Insurance has compiled a list of some illnesses frequently suffered by travellers with the approximate cost of treatment in some popular holiday destinations. In the UK, obviously these ailments would be dealt with by the National Health Service (NHS), however, if you do not have travel insurance to cover emergency medical treatment whilst you are abroad, you would be expected to pay a proportion (if there is a reciprocal health agreement between the country you are visiting and the UK) or, potentially, all of the costs.

If you are going abroad for an extended period of time, such as backpacking or on a gap year, the chance of you needing some kind of emergency medical treatment is much higher.

  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 could also have an impact on the costs of medical treatment, particularly if high costs are involved; which is worth bearing mind when converting the costs of medical treatment abroad from a foreign currency into pounds sterling.

As can be seen from the above, costs for medical treatment in other countries, particularly North America can be very expensive. Many people could not afford to pay these medical bills, should the worst happen which is the reason it makes sense to purchase a good quality travel insurance policy that covers you for any activities or work you may be doing before you travel.

Similarly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions you may also need to declare them.

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

Click here to buy a policy online from Responsible Travel Insurance

Click here to read the full ABI report

Author: Adam