The importance of having the right level of emergency medical cover in your travel insurance policy

When organising a trip, whilst thinking about the flights, accommodation, where you are going to stay, places you are going to visit and the luggage you will take may be your priority, it is very important that you research your travel insurance policy to ensure it covers potential unexpected events and bills that may occur on your trip, including medical emergencies, cancellation, lost luggage, amongst others.

According to figures published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) , highlights the importance of travel insurance and why choosing a product that provides enough cover – particularly for emergency medical expenses, is very important

The report highlights that whilst in 2018 the average medical claim rose to £1368, claims can easily reach into the tens of thousands of pounds, with one recent example of a couple in America requiring nearly £600,000 worth of support from their travel insurer.

The ABI highlighted just how expensive overseas medical claims can be, also illustrating the need to avoid reliance on an EHIC/TSE, which only provides cover for state healthcare services in the country you’re visiting if it is part of the European Economic Area (EEA):

  • The 19-year-old travelling in Cambodia who suffered a serious knee injury following an incident on a mountain bike. After being hospitalised, stabilised and then flown back to the UK, the claim cost £48,733.
  • A couple who were struck by a drunk driver in America. Both required serious medical treatment and the claim cost £587,000 in total.
  • A traveller on a cruise ship, who following a stroke, was safely disembarked and then flown to America in an emergency air ambulance for surgery. In total the claim cost around £118,000.
  • The traveller who had to be repatriated from Spain for an urgent heart transplant, which would not be covered under the EHIC/TSE. This claim cost £76,528 in total.

Rather than buying travel insurance and choosing the cheapest one, it is very important that you take into account the medical coverage you may need for your trip.Where you are travelling will be particularly important, as many countries, particularly those outside of Europe, do not offer state funded healthcare, which means any treatment may need to be personally funded (or paid for by insurance).

Finally, if you have an existing medical condition, like heart disease, diabetes, cancer or asthma, check that your travel insurer will cover your medical expenses for these conditions, as many will not cover pre-existing medical conditions.

Fit 2 Trip offers a wide variety of policies that include only medical insurance, cancellation, and/or multi-risk policies for families, couples, individual travelers and people with pre-existing medical conditions. Fit 2 Trip policies’ are adapted to your needs, offering three levels of coverage: basic, standard and premium.