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Travel insurance claims ‘at highest level since 2010’

Medical expenses still account for majority of claims

Travel insurers now deal with the equivalent of one new claim every three minutes from British holidaymakers and travellers needing emergency medical treatment while overseas, new figures show.

Analysis carried out by the Association of British Insurers shows that medical bills faced by insurers is at its highest for eight years.

The study of 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 £209m – £570,000 every day – the highest figure since 2010. Of the £399m 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%.

Charlie Campbell, the ABI’s manager of health and protection, said that too many people “holidays can become horror days” if they are insured or fall ill while away from home.

He said: “Needing medical treatment can be stressful wherever you are, without the added worry of how you can afford what can be sky high medical bills. Yet the average travel insurance policy costs less than what an average family can spend on drinks and food at the airport and will pay emergency medical bills than can easily run into six figures.”