Travel insurers paid out £365 million to 494,000 individuals and families in 2015 according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The ABI provides consumers with general information on insurance products and services and has over 250 member companies which account for over 90% of the UK insurance market.
The figures from the ABI showed that the main cost of claims was for emergency medical treatment, with travel insurers paying out over £196 million to 166,000 travellers to cover their medical and repatriation costs.
They also showed that:
- The average medical expenses claim was more than £1,200
- Insurers paid out £128 million to 160,000 individuals and families to cover the cost of cancelling their holiday with the average claim coming to over £800
- £16 million was also paid to 87,000 people to cover the cost of lost baggage and money whilst travelling
The data from the ABI follows a recent announcement from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) that over a fifth (22%) of people who travelled abroad in the past year did so without purchasing travel insurance.
This means that thousands of holidaymakers risk having to pay potentially expensive medical costs if they become ill while abroad.
Mark Shepherd, Manager for General Insurance at the ABI said: “Holidays are meant to be enjoyable and relaxing, but they can be traumatic for some travellers who become ill or are injured abroad.
“Medical treatment in foreign countries can cost tens of thousands, which is why it’s essential to have a travel insurance policy that will cover you, should you need it. Travel insurers pay £1 million a day for cancelled trips or to cover medical costs and offer support during an emergency abroad.
“There are a wide range of policies available, so it’s important to shop around to find a policy that meets your needs, and be aware that a cheap policy is not right for everyone.”
The full ABI article can be viewed here.