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Travel insurance helps over 4,300 people every week who need medical treatment abroad, yet many holidaymakers still risk travelling without it

23/07/2014
Travel insurance medical cover
  • The average cost of a claim for medical expenses on a travel insurance policy in 2013 was £930, this is compared to £616 in 2004
  • The average cost of a travel insurance policy is just £32
  • More people claim for medical treatment than for either cancellation of their holiday and lost or stolen money or baggage.
  • Travel insurance helps over 4,300 people a week who need medical treatment while abroad, paying over £4 million a week to their customers. 
  • One in five holidaymakers (19 per cent), roughly six million a year, risk travelling uninsured.1

New data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows that in 2013 over 4,300 holiday makers every week depend on the safety net travel insurance provides in paying for emergency medical treatment at a cost on average of £930 per claim. Yet nearly a quarter of all travellers risk travelling abroad uninsured.

Aidan Kerr, Head of Travel Insurance at the ABI said:

"No one expects to go holiday and have to make a claim on their travel insurance. However, unfortunately for many travellers, having something go wrong can be a very real experience. It can be especially traumatic when you or someone you are travelling with is taken ill or injured. Travel insurers pay out an average of £4 million every week to help to ease the stress and cushion the blow when there is a medical emergency abroad.”

The ABI’s top tips when travelling abroad:

  • When travelling in Europe, make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This is not a substitute for travel insurance, but it is free and allows you to receive emergency treatment from public hospitals across Europe.
  • When taking out a policy, shop around for the best deal but don’t buy a policy based on price alone – the cheapest policy may not cover all of your needs.
  • Holidays are fun and relaxing but you should act responsibly and remain vigilant. Some insurance policies might not cover dangerous or risky behavior.
  • Check the FCO's 'Know Before You Go’ campaign website which provides valuable advice to travellers.

For more information, see our advice on Travel Insurance.

1. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2008 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to August 2013. Fieldwork was conducted by Arkenford in August 2013. For more information visit www.abta.com.

Last updated 13/11/2014