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Travel insurers pay out 1 million every day

With summer holidays approaching and the start of the European Championships, ABI figures published today show the value of travel insurance.

Every day, ABI members pay out £1 million to help cover the costs of medical treatment abroad, cancelled trips, or other travel troubles. However, more than one in five people still risk travelling uninsured.*

Figures from ABI members show:

  • Last year, insurers paid out £365 million, equating to £1 million a day, to 494,000 individuals and families who needed help when they were abroad.
  • The main cost of claims was for emergency medical treatment, with insurers paying out over £196 million to cover travellers’ medical expenses and repatriation. More than 166,000 travellers claimed for medical treatment.
  • An annual travel insurance policy costs an average of just £33, while the average medical expenses claim was more than £1,200, and average cancellation claim £800.
  • In total, insurers also paid out £128 million to 160,000 individuals and families to cover the cost of cancelling their holiday.
  • Insurers paid £16 million to 87,000 people to cover the cost of lost baggage and money whilst travelling.

Mark Shepherd, Manager for General Insurance at the ABI said:

Mark Shepherd"Holidays are meant to be enjoyable and relaxing, but they can be traumatic for some travellers who become ill or are injured abroad.

"Medical treatment in foreign countries can cost tens of thousands, which is why it’s essential to have a travel insurance policy that will cover you, should you need it. Travel insurers pay £1 million a day for cancelled trips or to cover medical costs and offer support during an emergency abroad.

"There are a wide range of policies available, so it’s important to shop around to find a policy that meets your needs, and be aware that a cheap policy is not right for everyone."

The ABI’s 6 top tips for getting travel insurance

  1. Shop around - Travel insurance policies vary to suit different needs so it’s essential to shop around, and know that the cheapest policy may not cover all that you need.
  2. Get an EHIC - Make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when travelling in Europe. It’s not a substitute for travel insurance, but is free and gives access to state-provided healthcare on the same basis as a resident.
  3. Take care - Holidays should be fun and relaxing, but take care and act responsibly. Generally, travel insurance policies will not cover accidents if someone has not taken reasonable care or had excessive amounts of alcohol.
  4. Check FCO advice - Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice and information pages for your destination before you travel.
  5. Declare medical conditions - Tell your insurer about any medical conditions when you take out a travel insurance policy.
  6. Call your insurer - Make sure you take note of your insurer’s emergency phone number. If something happens when you’re on holiday and you need to make a claim, call your insurer first who can help.

Notes for Editors

  • *More than one in five people (22%) risk travelling uninsured- statistics from ABTA.
  • Average annual travel insurance of £33 does not include Insurance Premium Tax.

Last updated 01/07/2016