Spare a thought for the poor old travel insurance industry, which had to pay out £1 million every day last year for travel insurance claims. OK, we hear you say, as a travel insurance provider, you would say that, wouldn’t you?
But according to new figures released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) perhaps your sympathy should be reserved for those who travelled without insurance cover (estimated to be one in every five travellers) and who had to pay for expensive medical bills themselves – which can sometimes run into tens of thousands of pounds.
For the 80% of you that did travel insured, you clearly slept more easily knowing that these costs would have been paid by the insurer. In fact, medical treatment was the most common – and most expensive – type of claim made last year. A total of £196 million was paid out to cover medical expenses and repatriation costs, with 166,000 claims being processed by the industry.
Next in the pecking order was the £128 million paid to 160,000 individuals and their families to cover the cost of holiday cancellation, while £16 million was paid out to 87,000 claimants to cover the cost of lost baggage and money while travelling.
Collectively, this represents over £365 million paid out, involving half a million (490,000) individuals or families. For those unfortunate few, they can take some comfort from the fact that the average medical expense was more than £1,200 and the average cancellation claim was up to £800, which make the typical travel insurance policy costing an average of just £33 an absolute bargain.
We’ll leave the final word on the subject to Mark Shepherd, manager for General Insurance at the ABI, who said, “Holidays are meant to be enjoyable and relaxing, but they can be traumatic for some travellers who become ill or are injured abroad”.
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.