• How a fall in the USA could cost you a year’s wages

    September 13th 2013. Posted in Travel Insurance

    British holidaymakers are being warned that they could face costs as high as £25,000 for common but essential medical care abroad if they have an accident while travelling without insurance. The research, carried out by AXA, the UK’s largest travel insurer, also showed that costs for basic healthcare vary wildly among popular holiday destinations.

    AXA analysed costs for a short stay in hospital to treat stomach problems such as gastroenteritis, medical care for an ear infection and hospital treatment for broken bones after a serious fall.

     

    Treatment for stomach problems, which makes up around 15 per cent of all travel insurance claims from the sample (1) and usually requires two to three days of hospitalisation, is available for approximately £2,000 in France (2) and £3,000 in the Caribbean. However, the same medical care could run to £5,000 in Turkey and a staggering £20,000 in the USA. 

     

    The research uncovered a similar trend for treatment following a slip or trip - a traveller who breaks a bone in this way could face bills of around £7,000 in Morocco, compared to £15,000 in Singapore and £25,000 in the USA. Costs will increase considerably if repatriations are required, or if extra seats for leg-room are required as a result of the injury.

     

    Almost a quarter of UK holidaymakers leaving the country each year - an estimated 16 million - are believed to set off without travel insurance (3). With around 5.5 million Britons heading to the USA each year, more than 1.5 million could be vulnerable to huge, uninsured costs.

     

    David Vincent, head of travel at AXA, commented:"People generally associate risk with countries that have a reputation for crime, violence or lack a 'health and safety' culture. However, these figures show a hidden danger faced by British travellers, who can incur huge bills following minor mishaps if they're not properly protected."

    "The USA, which attracts around 5.5 million Britons each year, was shown to charge more than twice as much as many other countries for basic healthcare, meaning that people without insurance may well end up paying medical bills that can quickly run into many thousands of pounds."

     

    AXA research reveals the most expensive countries for UK travellers needing medical treatment

     

    Rank

    Country

    Average cost of a procedure (4)

    Number of UK visitors (000s, 2012 estimate) (7)

    1

    USA

     £15,888.89

    5,500

    2

    Singapore

     £7,277.78

    450

    3

    Egypt

     £6,311.11

    Unknown (8)

    4

    Turkey

     £5,977.78

    2,500

    5

    Mainland Greece and minor islands (2)

    £5,911.11

    2,000

    6

    Thailand

     £5,577.78

    800

    7

    Bali

     £5,466.67

    190 (figure for Indonesia)

    8

    Cyprus (2)

     £5,244.44

    1,000

    9

    Spain and islands (1)

     £4,911.11

    12,000

    10

    Portugal (2)

     £4,911.11

    1,900

    11

    Africa/South Africa

     £4,800.00

    Unknown (8)

    12

    Australia (5)

     £4,733.33

    640

    13

    Israel

     £4,577.78

    Unknown (8)

    14

    Mexico

     £4,133.33

    363

    15

    Brazil

     £3,911.11

    156

    16

    India

     £3,800.00

    800

    17

    Caribbean

     £3,750.00

    180 (figure for Barbados)

    18

    Morocco

     £3,577.78

    Unknown (8)

    19

    Italy (1)

     £3,511.11

    2,500

    20

    France (1)

     £3,400.00

    17,100

     

    Vincent continued, "Bear in mind that these costs are for relatively common misfortunes, and that more serious incidents can lead to eye-wateringly high sums - the cost to be incurred by someone falling off a balcony and seriously injuring themselves in the US, for example, is likely to be in the region of £150,000. When a policy can cost as little as £40 per traveller (6), it doesn't make sense to gamble and leave yourself open to these kinds of medical bills."

     

    Travel Insurance purchased directly through axainsurance.com makes it easy for holidaymakers to ensure that they have the right protection in place, covering 70 sports and activities as standard and providing up to £10 million medical cover.

     

    AXA is making this data available to highlight the importance of having adequate travel insurance in place. In order to make it as easy as possible for travellers to take out a policy, AXA offers a quick and simple online application process that can be completed in minutes at any time before setting off.

     

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    Notes for Editors 
    <ol>
    <li>Based on a sample of 1,140 claims from 2012/13</li>
    <li>Travellers who have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can get treatment in Europe at reduced costs.</li>
    <li>Source: ABTA (http://abta.com/news-and-views/press-zone/brits-unaware-of-medical-costs-abroad)</li>
    <li>Average of estimated costs for three of the most common health claims abroad: Ear infection, Gastroenteritis, Broken bone following a slip or fall</li>
    <li>Essential medical care for UK citizens travelling in Australia may be provided at no cost under a reciprocal healthcare agreement.</li>
    <li>Quote from AXA for an annual travel insurance policy covering worldwide travel including USA for a 25 year old.</li>
    <li>Source: FCO figures, accessed on 22 August 2013</li>
    <li>Not disclosed on FCO website</li>
    </ol>
    Legal Notes 

    AXA Insurance

    AXA Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and underwrites a broad range of products for individuals and businesses. Products are distributed primarily through brokers and corporate partners with home, travel and pet insurance offered directly to customers through its website www.axa.co.uk and Swiftcover. AXA car insurance, launched in February 2010, is the fastest-growing motor insurance product in the history of UK motor insurance. AXA Insurance is part of the AXA UK group of operating companies.

    AXA

    The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in asset management, with 161,000 employees serving 103 million clients in 59 countries. In 2014, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 92.0 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.1 billion. AXA had Euro 1,277 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2014. In 2015 Interbrand ranked AXA the 1st insurance brand worldwide for the 7th consecutive year.

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