Travel Insurers Helped Record Numbers of Ill Holiday Makers Last Year


Did you suffer a debilitating bout of holiday illness last year whilst on a package holiday abroad?

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) recently released figures to suggest that the cost of holiday illness is at record levels. Those who suffered debilitating bouts of holiday illness abroad are said to have cost the insurance industry over £5.3 million in claims a week.

With the new summer holiday season looming the figures published by the ABI reveal:

  • UK holiday makers’ claim £274 million from insurers for the cost of emergency medical treatment for illnesses suffered abroad
  • The cost of medical treatment claims has risen by over 270% in the last few years as tour operators open destinations such as Egypt, Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic to mass markets
  • Insurers dealt with 366,000 claims for medical treatment, ie over 7000 illness claims a week – a 300% increase over the last 5 years
  • Medical expenses account for 60% of the total cost of all holiday claims paid by travel insurance with stomach upsets, ear infections, and heart problems being the most common types of claim

Holiday Illness Compensation Claims on the rise

Simon Lomax, Simpson Millar’s Holiday Illness and Accident Claims Manager says:

"We successfully handled a large number of holiday illness compensation claims last year, and can fully understand the numbers set out by the ABI. In 2010 we received a huge number of instructions from holiday makers who suffering travellers’ diarrhoea because of unacceptable hygiene standards predominantly in Egypt – Dominican Republic – Mexico and Cape Verde amongst others."

"Until the main UK tour operators get to grips with hygiene standards abroad the problems will continue – many do not even check that the hotel suppliers they contract with comply with foreign standards let alone higher British standards."

Simon continues to say:

"Holiday makers who suffer with bouts of Salmonella food poisoningCryptosporidium - E coli - CamplylobacterShigella etc, often require expensive emergency medical treatment whilst on holiday. Travel insurance is therefore essential for everyone travelling abroad."

"Our advice is to purchase holiday insurance from a reputable company, and to take the details of emergency medical helpline telephone numbers included in their policy document, in the event you need to make a holiday claim. Holiday makers travelling to Europe should also take their European Health Insurance card as this will entitle you to basic state health care – there is however no substitute for travel insurance."

The only way to curb the rise in holiday illness claims is to ensure that tour operators act more responsibly when contracting with hotels abroad and pay compensation for their mistakes. Health and safety should be of paramount importance to these large multi million pound companies - particular when children are involved.

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