Around £1m paid out every day for travel insurance claims in 2016, AIB says

Deck chairs on Cromer Beach as the Association of British Insurers says �370m was paid out in travel

Deck chairs on Cromer Beach as the Association of British Insurers says �370m was paid out in travel insurance claims last year. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE - Credit: Archant

£1m was the average sum paid out in travel insurance claims every day in 2016, according to industry figures.

In 2016 a total of £370m was paid to help 480,000 travellers and their families who needed help abroad, including claims for emergency medical treatment and lost baggage, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) said.

This was the highest amount paid since 2010, when disruption caused by the Icelandic ash cloud pushed claims costs to an all-time high of £455m.

As people prepare for their summer holidays, the ABI is reminding them to shop around for a suitable insurance policy.

It said the cost of the average annual travel insurance policy is £37, compared with the average medical claim costing £1,300, and the average cancellation claim standing at £816.

The ABI's analysis of claims paid by travel insurers last year found:

£199m was paid out to help 154,000 travellers needing emergency medical treatment, iincluding a £100,000 bill for treating an abscess in the US, £16,000 treating a fractured leg following a motorcycle accident in Thailand, and £11,000 to remove a brain tumour in Spain.

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£130m was paid out on 159,000 claims over cancelled holidays.

£17m was paid on 83,000 claims for baggage and money lost while travelling.

Mark Shepherd, assistant director, head of property at the ABI, said travel insurance should be 'essential purchase' for holidaymakers. 'As millions of people gear up for the summer holidays, for some unlucky travellers their break could turn into a nightmare.

'Falling ill abroad must be the number one worry as medical treatment abroad and repatriation back home can cost tens of thousands.'

He added: 'Insurers support and help thousands of travellers and their families should the worst happen, paying nearly nine in 10 claims that are made.'