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