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ABI Report shows Importance of Travel Insurance

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has recently published the results of its survey investigating how important travel insurance is these days.

Data gathered by the ABI shows that in 2004 medical claims represented about 33% of the total number of travel insurance claims, however in 2012 medical treatment claims accounted for more than 50%, showing a significant increase in the number of emergency medical treatment claims over the 8 year period.

Not only has the number of medical claims increased during this time but so has the average cost of these claims: in 2012 the 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.

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

Able2Travel has compiled a list of some illnesses frequently suffered by travellers with the approximate treatment cost in some popular holiday destinations. In the UK, obviously these conditions 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 or, potentially, all of the costs, depending on the country you are visiting.

If you have an existing medical condition, emergency treatment for anything related to it may not be covered by your travel insurance policy unless you have declared it.

  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 between currencies will 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.

Medical treatment costs in other countries, particularly in North America, can be extremely expensive, as the data above shows. Many people could not afford to pay their medical bills, should the worst happen which is the reason it makes sense to purchase a good quality travel insurance policy that covers any pre-existing medical conditions you may have before you travel.

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 request a quote from Able2Travel

Click here to read the full ABI report

Author: Adam