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ABI highlights value of travel insurance

06 June 2017 09:05

Travel insurance is important for overseas travellers

Travel insurance is important for overseas travellers

Travel insurance claims worth around £1 million were paid out every day in 2016 on average, new industry data reveals.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), some £370 million was paid out to 480,000 travellers and their families last year. And that breaks down to roughly £1 million every day.

Lost baggage and emergency medical treatment were among the costs covered by travel insurance.

The annual sum of £370 million is the highest witnessed since 2010, when many travellers were caught up in the Icelandic ash cloud incident.

Along with medical and baggage-related costs, some £130 million was paid out for cancelled holidays in 2016.

Shopping around

With the traditional summer holiday season fast approaching, the ABI has urged people to shop around for a travel insurance policy that is suited to their needs.

While typical medical claims amount to £1,300 and cancellation claims come to £816, it said travel cover usually only costs Britons around £37. And single trip policies can be particularly inexpensive.

Warning over unexpected costs

Mark Shepherd from the ABI said medical costs and repatriation fees can ultimately amount to tens of thousands of pounds.

He said: "Travel insurance is not a nice thing to have but should be an essential purchase. Insurers support and help thousands of travellers and their families should the worst happen, paying nearly nine in 10 claims that are made."

The association is now recommending that people shop around for the right travel insurance - with the cheapest policy not necessarily the best for their needs.

It adds that a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can also come in handy for those holidaying on the continent, while checking the official Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office travel advice and information pages is also a good idea.

The ABI believes people should inform their insurer of any medical conditions they have up-front, so that their policy remains valid.