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Holiday health bills highlight insurance benefits

Holiday health bills highlight insurance benefits

Category: Travel insurance

Updated: 26/11/2012
First Published: 12/08/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The average medical claim on travel insurance policies made by British tourists falling ill abroad has risen to £1,333, new research has revealed.

Analysis of 2010 claims data from Sainsbury's Travel Insurance has revealed medical bills are most expensive in the USA , with policyholder claims averaging £4,725.

Thailand is the second most expensive country for medical attention, where bills average £1,937, with the Dominican Republic coming in third at £1,178.

The cheapest country in which to fall ill and require hospital treatment is Greece , where the average hospital visit is £422.

The travel insurance provider said the findings demonstrate just how expensive holiday illnesses and accidents can be and has urged holidaymakers to ensure they invest in good quality travel insurance.

Scott Gorman, Sainsbury's Travel Insurance manager, warned that simply having a European Health Insurance Card will only provide the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the country that is being visited.

"This means that should you require medical attention you may face huge medical bills, which is a concern, especially in countries such as the United States where the cost of medical treatment can be extortionate," he added.

"It has been widely reported that healthcare costs are rising far faster than the rate of inflation, not just in the UK but in other countries as well, so ensuring you have adequate cover and peace of mind while you travel abroad is more important than ever."

The data also revealed that Spain was the country where more holidaymakers had to seek medical help than any other, followed by Turkey and Greece .

Ear infection was one of the most common reasons for seeking medical assistance abroad last year, with the average bill for inpatient treatment amounting to £320.

The most expensive hospital bills were for those who suffered a heart attack abroad, resulting in medical expenses that averaged £8,147.

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