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Medical expenses comprise majority of travel insurance payouts

Average medical claim payout is £1,300

Medical expenses still make up a majority of the £385m in claims paid out by travel insurance companies, an analysis shows.

Figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reveal the number of travel insurance claims made in 2017 increased by 30,000 year-on-year to 510,000, costing £385m and amounting to one claim every minute throughout the year.

After a slight £2m increase, medical expenses still made up the majority (52%) of claims paid, despite an 11% increase in the value of claims for trip cancellations.

Medical expense continue to be the most expensive type of claim, with an average of nearly £1,300 and many claims climbing to the tens of thousands of pounds.

In total, 159,000 travellers required medical treatment, costing insurers £201m.

One Brit required £90,000 of treatment for a fractured rib and punctured lung, while another required a £20,000 payout to treat a blocked intestine.

Cancellations accounted for 38% of claims paid and lost baggage or money accounted for 4%.

Charlie Campbell, the ABI’s policy adviser for travel, warned medical expenses can often cost tens of thousands of pounds.

He added: “Our question to consumers today is: can you afford to not have travel insurance?”