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Brits abroad 'benefit from travel insurance'

23 July 2015 09:09

Falling sick abroad can be a costly business

Falling sick abroad can be a costly business

New figures have underlined the folly of not taking out travel insurance, by showing that roughly 4,000 Britons who become sick overseas gain £4 million in support each week.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) found that the average travel insurance medical expenses pay-out has risen from £930 to £1,022 in a year.

The association has released the figures to coincide with the run-up to the summer school holidays.

Key stats

- Travel insurance firms paid out to 202,000 Britons who required medical attention when overseas last year - working out at around 3,800 every week.

- As many as 581,000 British travellers abroad claimed on their insurance policies overall, receiving a total of £370 million.

- British travellers abroad received nearly £4 million each week (£206 million over 2014) to meet the expenses of emergency medical treatments.

Putting minds at rest

The ABI estimates that the typical yearly travel cover policy works out at only £32.

So the figures should give food for thought to the 22% of Britons who risk travelling overseas with no cover.

Falling ill abroad can be expensive if people are not insured.

But UK tourists in foreign climes can put their minds at rest by taking out travel insurance, which also covers things such as stolen and lost possessions, and cancellation costs.

The ABI's top tips for travelling overseas

- Visit Europe with a free, official European Health Insurance Card. It cannot beat travel insurance, but it does enable travellers to get Europe-wide public hospital emergency treatment.

- Shop around: this does not necessarily mean the cheapest policy, which might not insure you on everything you require.

What the experts say

The ABI's general insurance director, James Dalton, said being sick overseas is "very traumatic" in some incidences.

But he said that valid travel insurance has the potential to cover ill tourists to the tune of a five-figure sum.