Did you know that, according to research published today by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) you could have to work for over 25 years to pay for emergency medical care without insurance?
The ABI has found that travel insurers are helping 3,000 travellers every week who need emergency medical treatment while abroad. £200 million paid out a year to help 150,000 people who fall seriously ill overseas.
The figures come as the ABI launches its new guide to travel insurance to help travellers ensure they have the right travel insurance to cover any sky high overseas medical bills and emergency repatriation to get back home.
The USA, which attracts 3.8 million UK visitors a year, has some of the highest medical costs. For example:
• £768,000 has been paid to cover the medical costs of treating a traveller who suffered a stroke. This includes £60,000 for an air ambulance back to the UK.
• £252,000 to treat a brain haemorrhage and broken shoulder suffered by a traveller when he fell off a cycle.
• £32,000 to pay for a four day hospital stay to treat a 12 year-old girl who caught pneumonia on a school trip. The travel insurer also paid for the cost of flying out a member of the family to be with her.
Elsewhere in the world, examples of emergency medical bills faced by British travellers that travel insurers have paid include:
• £136,000 for treating complications following an insect bite in Chile. This included paying for a nurse to escort the traveller home.
• £125,000 to pay for surgery following a jet-ski accident while holidaying in Turkey.
• £81,000 to cover ongoing costs of treating a holidaymaker who contracted pancreatitis in Greece.
• £74,000 paid to treat a brain haemorrhage in Cuba.
• £60,000 to treat injuries sustained in a road accident in El Salvador. This included £33,000 for an air ambulance back to the UK.
When travelling in Europe, the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives you access to state-provided healthcare available to a resident. However, it is no substitute for having travel insurance as it will not cover all medical costs, or the cost of emergency repatriation back to the UK. From Spain an air ambulance can cost £25,000.
The ABI has launched a new guide to travel insurance to help travellers ensure they have the right travel insurance to cover any sky high overseas medical bills and emergency repatriation to get back home.
In the meantime you can obtain a quote and buy travel insurance online instantly with P F Spare and our specialist travel insurance provider, Voyager Insurance.