POSTED: August 21 2019
Crippling cost of not having travel insurance

Crippling cost of not having travel insurance

Every three minutes a UK traveller now needs emergency medical treatment abroad, as the medical treatment bills hits an eight-year high.

Travel insurers are now dealing with the equivalent of one new claim every three minutes from UK travellers needing emergency medical treatment while overseas, with the medical bill at its highest for eight years according to analysis out today (19 August) from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

ABI analysis of the 500,000 travel insurance claims made last year reveals that:

  • Travel insurers helped 153,000 British travellers needing emergency medical treatment abroad – the equivalent of 420 people every day, or one person every three minutes.
  • The total medical bill paid by insurers was £209 million – £570,000 every day – the highest figure since 2010.
  • Of the £399 million paid out on all travel insurance claims, medical claims accounted for 52% of claim costs, followed by cancellation costs at 36%, then lost baggage or money at 4%.

Case studies of the jaw-dropping costs of needing overseas emergency medical treatment include:

  • £241,000, the estimated cost to treat a couple on holiday in Florida. Following hospital treatment for chest pains suffered by the husband, while on their way to the airport to come home, his wife collapsed with heart problems. After treatment, both returned home, accompanied by a doctor.
  • £200,000 paid to treat a traveller on a cruise in China who suffered a brain haemorrhage. This included an air ambulance back to the UK from Hong Kong.
  • £153,000 for treating a broken arm caused by falling out of a bed in San Francisco. This included paying for the flight back home.
  • £137,000 to treat a fractured spine resulting from a bathroom fall in Thailand, including return to the UK.
  • £89,000 to pay the medical bill for a holidaymaker who suffered a heart attack while visiting
  • £78,000 to treat an elderly visitor to Spain for a 23-day hospital stay to treat injuries and trauma following a road crash.

If your organisation needs support in organising travel insurance or any other protection or employee benefits cover contact Jamie Tuffield on