Appropriate travel insurance is something most people secure before they go away. While it won’t prevent accidents from happening or luggage from being lost, it can provide a much-needed safety net should the worst happen while you’re abroad – or even at home if you’re opting for a staycation instead.
However, despite the peace of mind it affords, many holidaymakers choose not to secure suitable travel insurance before their trips. But new data released from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) should give these individuals some food for thought.
That’s because an incredible 510,000 travel insurance claims were made by Brits in 2017 – a year on year increase of 30,000. That equates to almost one every minute, insurers say, emphasising just how many claims were processed last year.
£1 million paid out every minute
In fact, the total cost of all travel insurance claims handled by insurers in 2017 was £385 million. That equates to more than £1 million being paid out every minute. This figure was the largest total amount paid since 2010, when the Icelandic ash cloud resulted in £455 million worth of claims, mainly due to cancellations.
In 2017, some 174,000 claims were made for cancelled holidays – an increase of 15,000 over the previous year. The ABI said airline disruption and bad weather both at home and abroad were responsible for the rise.
The ABI said the growing number of claims due to cancellations “further highlights the importance of buying your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday – not at the last minute”.
Meanwhile, some 86,000 individuals received support totalling £17 million after their baggage was delayed or money lost while travelling.
However, it is medical expenses that still make up the bulk of travel insurance claims. Last year, these types of claims were filed by some 159,000 travellers who needed medical treatment, the total cost of which was £201 million.
Medical claims the most expensive kind
While many claims run up into the tens of thousands of pounds, the average cost is around £1,300, making medical claims the most expensive kind.
One traveller, highlighted by the ABI, needed £90,000 worth of treatment for a fractured rib and punctured lung. Another required £20,000 to treat a blocked intestine.
Charlie Campbell, the ABI’s policy adviser for travel, said: “Travel insurance acts as your guardian angel when overseas and should be an essential element of your holiday shopping list.
“Insurers are paying out £1 million every day to cover the unexpected costs of illness, injury or cancellation.”
As with any type of insurance, there are sometimes naysayers who believe that insurers won’t pay out for whatever reason when faced with a claim. The data from the ABI not only highlights just how many times British holidaymakers utilised travel insurance policies last year, but also the huge sums involved in the claims handled by the insurers.
I have over 15 years client facing experience in the Employee Benefits industry having worked for Mercer HR Consulting and The Willis Group in London. Bringing my expertise to mid and large corporate clients, I joined Premier Choice Healthcare in December 2015, with the aim of advising and developing a varied Corporate client portfolio.