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Travel insurance claimants 'get £1m a day'

14 June 2016 07:49

Travel insurers are paying millions in cancelled flight payouts

Travel insurers are paying millions in cancelled flight payouts

New figures underline the importance of British tourists taking out travel insurance, with the industry typically paying out £1 million every day.

Association of British Insurers (ABI) data shows that £365 million worth of payouts are made a year.

The trade organisation says the new data emphasises the need for travel insurance, a service it claims is spurned by more than 20% of UK travellers.

Stat attack

Last year, the ABI's members paid:

• £196 million (around 53% of total payouts) on medical-related claims spread across 166,000-plus British travellers, the typical payout being over £1,200

• £128 million reimbursing Brits for cancelled journeys, the average payout being £800

• £16 million to reimburse tourists for lost cash and baggage while in transit

Despite the substantial payouts, the ABI says that the ABTA travel association has reported that more than 20% of adults travel uninsured.

What the expert says

Not having travel insurance can cost holidaymakers dear if the worst happens to them during their getaway.

The ABI's general insurance manager Mark Shepherd says that uncovered holidaymakers who are hurt or fall sick overseas can sometimes pay over £10,000 for treatment.

This can make what is looked forward to as being a relaxing, enjoyable experience a traumatic one, he says.

Such cover can also reimburse people for stolen possessions.

Mr Shepherd advises people to hunt around for a tailor-made policy to best suit them. The cheapest is not always necessarily the most advisable, the ABI cautions.

ABI top tips:

• Always carry the insurance provider's phone number in case of emergency

• Be up-front about any medical conditions and write them on any application forms

• Before heading off, look up the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office's web pages to see its advice and data relating to an intended destination

• Always carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) on the continent

• Do not act irresponsibly. Lack of reasonable care and excess alcohol can forfeit claims