Travel insurance helps over 4,300 people every week who need medical treatment abroad, yet many holidaymakers still risk travelling without it

New data from the ABI shows that in 2013 over 4,300 holiday makers every week depend on the safety net travel insurance provides in paying for emergency medical treatment.

• The average cost of a claim for medical expenses on a travel insurance policy in 2013 was £930, this is compared to £616 in 2004
• The average cost of a travel insurance policy is just £32
• More people claim for medical treatment than for either cancellation of their holiday and lost or stolen money or baggage.
• Travel insurance helps over 4,300 people a week who need medical treatment while abroad, paying over £4 million a week to their customers.
• One in five holidaymakers (19 per cent), risk travelling uninsured.*

New data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows that in 2013 over 4,300 holiday makers every week depend on the safety net travel insurance provides in paying for emergency medical treatment at a cost on average of £930 per claim. Yet nearly a quarter of all travellers risk travelling abroad uninsured.

Aidan Kerr, Head of Travel Insurance at the ABI said:

“No one expects to go holiday and have to make a claim on their travel insurance. However, unfortunately for many travellers, having something go wrong can be a very real experience. It can be especially traumatic when you or someone you are travelling with is taken ill or injured. Travel insurers pay out an average of £4 million every week to help to ease the stress and cushion the blow when there is a medical emergency abroad.”

The ABI’s top tips when travelling abroad:

• When travelling in Europe, make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This is not a substitute for travel insurance, but it is free and allows you to receive emergency treatment from public hospitals across Europe.
• When taking out a policy, shop around for the best deal but don’t buy a policy based on price alone – the cheapest policy may not cover all of your needs.
• Holidays are fun and relaxing but you should act responsibly and remain vigilant. Some insurance policies might not cover dangerous or risky behavior.
• Check the ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign website which provides valuable advice to travellers.**


Notes for Editors

1. Enquiries to:

Malcolm Tarling 020 7216 7410 Mobile: 07776 147 667
Linsey White              020 7216 7415 Mobile: 07885 998 011
Kelly Ostler-Coyle 020 7216 7375 Mobile: 07968 364302

2.   *The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2008 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to August 2013. Fieldwork was conducted by Arkenford ( in August 2013. For more information visit

3. **The FCO’s Know Before You Go campaign encourages British nationals to prepare for their foreign travel so they can avoid preventable problems. The campaign targets a number of audiences, from gap year students to package holidaymakers; sports fans to older travellers and people visiting friends and family abroad. The campaign works with more than 300 travel industry partners to communicate its messages. For more information visit they Know Before You Go page.

4. The ABI is the voice of the UK’s insurance, investment and long-term savings industry. It has over 300 members, which together account for around 90% of premiums in the UK domestic market.
The ABI’s role is to:
– Be the voice of the UK insurance industry, leading debate and speaking up for insurers.
– Represent the UK insurance industry to government, regulators and policy makers in the UK, EU and internationally, driving effective public policy and regulation.
– Advocate high standards of customer service within the industry and provide useful information to the public about insurance.
– Promote the benefits of insurance to the government, regulators, policy makers and the public.

The UK insurance industry is the third largest in the world and the largest in Europe. It is a vital part of the UK economy, managing investments amounting to 26% of the UK’s net worth and contributing the fourth highest corporation tax of any sector. Employing over 290,000 people in the UK alone, the insurance industry is also one of this country’s major exporters, with 28% of its net premium income coming from overseas business.
Insurance and businesses protect themselves against the everyday risks they face, enabling people to own their own homes, travel overseas, provide for a financially secure future and run businesses. Insurance underpins a healthy and prosperous society, enabling businesses and individuals to thrive, safe in the knowledge that problems can be handled and risks carefully managed. Every day, our members pay out £147 million in benefits to pensioners and long-term savers as well as £60 million in general insurance claims.

5. An ISDN line is available for broadcasts.

6. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site,