Some holidaymakers still risk going overseas without travel insurance, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said as it warned about staggering medical costs abroad.
Citing data from the Association of British Travel Agents, the ABI said 22% of people are now travelling abroad uninsured.
Mark Shepherd, ABI manager for general insurance, said that overseas travellers should always take out appropriate travel insurance for the duration of their trip.
Holidaymakers should also always declare medical conditions when they take out their policies, Shepherd added.
“Travel insurance should not be an after-thought, but the first thing you arrange after booking any overseas trip,” he said.
“While most travellers enjoy trouble-free holidays, falling ill abroad can be very stressful without the added worry about how you will pay for potentially very expensive medical bills.”
The ABI said the average travel insurance claim is just over £700. However, emergency medical and repatriation costs when travelling overseas can be much higher.
The industry body said the cost of some overseas medical treatments can be more than the price of the average UK house of £211,000.
For example, an insurer recently paid a medical bill of £322,000 for treating a swollen blood vessel in the brain.
According to the ABI, insurers are helping over 3,000 people a week who need emergency medical care while travelling abroad.
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