Record pay outs for falling ill abroad

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If you ever needed more convincing that travel insurance was a necessity when travelling abroad, recent figures might just provide it.

The ABI (Association of British Insurers) has announced that the cost of falling ill abroad has just hit a new record high for travel insurance companies. The amount paid out in medical claims in 2009 has jumped a massive 270% compared to five years ago.

So how much do travel insurers now spend on keeping us healthy whilst we’re abroad? The total amount in 2009 was £274 million, which works out as £5.3 million a week.

60% of all payouts were for the costs of medical treatment, compared to 33% five years ago. In total, they settled 366,000 claims (or 7,000 a week), which was more than three times the amount in 2004.

The ABI highlighted specific cases, including the £49,000 paid out for one person holidaying in the USA to have a coronary artery bypass and emergency repatriation, and the £16,500 spent on a husband and wife who both got separate back injuries whilst on holiday.

The most common problems experienced by travellers included ear infections, heart problems, stomach upsets and allergies.

Nick Starling, the director of general insurance and health at ABI, said that the high costs of treatment “make travel insurance essential for anyone travelling abroad”. He reminded travellers to take down details of the emergency helpline telephone numbers should they need to use them.

The news should help to remind travellers that the costs of medical treatment abroad can be prohibitive, and that if they don’t take out travel insurance then no one else is going to pay for the costs.


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#1 In my point of view travel insurance is important in today's scenario because the accident case increasing day by day. I'm also tacking travel insurance before any long travel.
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Posted by Henry on 24/08/2010 at 11:29
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