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12 August 2016 09:21
Holidaymakers are being warned not to leave insurance as an "afterthought" - as they could be left with a bill for emergency medical treatment abroad that is higher than the price of a house.
Holidaymakers are being warned not to leave insurance as an "afterthought", as they could be left with a bill for emergency medical treatment abroad that is higher than the price of a house.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says travel insurers help more than 3,000 travellers every week who need emergency medical care while on a holiday abroad.
Although the average travel insurance claim is just over £700, research by the association shows this could spiral to be as much as the average UK house price of £211,000.
The warning comes after previous data showed that around one in five tourists go abroad without travel insurance.
Medical bills faced by Britons covered by travel insurance include a huge £300,000 for a tourist who suffered multiple injuries after falling from a waterfall in Thailand.
Another company paid £40,000 for the medical costs of a traveller who was bitten by a mosquito in Indonesia and contracted Dengue fever.
One traveller was given £31,000 for treating a broken leg in Nepal that became infected.
ABI says insurers also paid out £11,000 for a holidaymaker with a brain tumour in Spain.
The association warns that emergency medical bills in the United States in particular can be high. An insurer recently paid a massive medical bill of £322,000 for treating a swollen blood vessel in the brain.
ABI have stressed the importance of taking out trusted travel insurance to avoid being left with a hefty bill and ruining your holiday.
Mark Shepherd from ABI says that travel insurance should always be the first thing you arrange before taking a trip overseas.
He said: "Anyone travelling overseas should always take out appropriate travel insurance for the duration of their trip, and declare medical conditions when they take out their policy.
He added that British tourists travelling in Europe should also take a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with them.
Mr Shepherd added: "Though not a substitute for travel insurance, the EHIC is free and provides access to state-provided healthcare on the same basis as a resident."
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