ABI figures show the average medical claim on travel insurance surpassed £1,300 for the first time ever, yet premiums are down

The ABI has today revealed that the average medical claim on travel insurance surpassed £1,300 for the first time ever in 2018.

Figures also show that the total amount paid out to Brits abroad in 2018 was £400m, the highest amount paid out in one year since 2010.

In the past 10 years, the average medical claim has nearly doubled from £768 in 2008.

The average total claims average sits slightly lower than the medical average, at £800. But this is still the highest figure for this on record.

The stats for 2018 reveal that:

  • Overall, the average claim reached £800 – the highest amount on record.
  • The majority of claims paid were to support 153,000 people in need of emergency medical treatment abroad (that’s 3,000 per week), to the tune of £209 million – with a record-breaking average medical claim of £1,368.
  • £145 million was paid out for 167,000 cancellation claims, with the average claim also reaching a new high of £869.
  • Finally, 79,000 people were supported through the loss of baggage or money to the tune of £17 million – at an average of £214 per claim.

Noteable cases

While the average claim stands at £800, some claims have reached almost £600,000.

Two customers of Direct Line Group were struck by a drunk driver in America. Both required serious medical treatment and the claim cost a total £587,000.

Other notable cases include a 19-year old travelling in Cambodia who was hospitalised, stabilised and then flown back to the UK after injuring their knee. The claim cost £48,733.

Finally, Aviva dealt with a claim involving a customer on a cruise ship who suffered a stroke. He was safely disembarked and then flown to America in an emergency air ambulance for surgery. In total the claim cost around £118,000.

Commenting on the stats, the ABI’s senior travel policy adviser, Charlie Campbell, said: “The fact that a quarter of Brits travel abroad without the right travel insurance is incredibly worrying. Few people have the luxury of being able to afford a surprise £800 bill, let alone one that runs into the tens or hundreds of thousands if they fall ill abroad.

“Anyone travelling this summer should avoid unnecessary financial and emotional stress by ensuring they have the right cover in place. As not all policies are the same, people should look for cover that meets their needs, rather than the cheapest option.”