With the peak summer holiday period looming, new insurance figures highlight that the cost of falling ill abroad has hit a record high, as travel insurers helped a record number of people needing emergency medical treatment while overseas.
Last year travel insurers:
Paid out £274 million in meeting the cost of emergency medical treatments for UK travellers who fell ill abroad
Dealt with 366,000 claims for overseas emergency medical treatment
The cost of medical expenses claims has leapt by over 270% in the last five years. The costs of medical treatment accounts for 60% of the total cost of all claims paid by travel insurers, compared to 33% five years ago. Stomach upsets, ear infections, allergies and heart problems are the most common illnesses requiring medical treatment while abroad.
Claims dealt with by insurers include:
£49,000 to cover the cost of a coronary artery bypass and an emergency flight home for a holidaymaker taken ill in the USA
£16,500 to treat back injuries, additional hotel costs, and ambulances suffered separately by a husband and wife while on the same holiday
£10,000 to attend to and fly back to UK from Slovenia a child who suffered head injuries from falling rocks
£9000 to cover the cost of treating a woman who suffered a severe allergic reaction while holidaying in Cyprus
Travel insurance: News update: 18 July 2010