When you’ve booked your holiday and are busy preparing to make memories to last a lifetime, the possibility of what could go wrong is often the last thing on your mind. However, as thousands of people every year find out, it pays to be prepared for the possibility of things like lost baggage, travel delays, cancellations and medical emergencies.
Aruba has the highest average claim costs in the world, at £1,876 per claim. The majority of these claims were for cancellations. In fact, in the top 10 countries with the highest average claim cost, 3 out of 10 countries saw cancellations as the most common claim type. This reflects the higher travel and accommodation costs to destinations like Aruba, the Maldives and Cameroon.
All of the most expensive claims, worldwide, were for medical expenses and, while no one wants to think about the possibility of getting injured or falling ill while on holiday, these figures prove that it pays to take out cover for medical emergencies. The most expensive claim of 2018 came in over a whopping £155,000 in the Dominican Republic, which features twice in the top 10 most expensive claims. The USA is where six out of the top 10 most expensive claims were made.
Claims for medical expenses are the most common claim type in the top 10 countries, with Slovakia (average claim of £1,295), Cameroon (£1,111), Oman (£714) and Dominica (£561) all seeing the majority of claims being made for medical expenses.
The US saw the highest number of claims made last year, with 3,320 overall. The US also had the most medical claims made, at 1,582, and the most travel delay claims made, at 702. This is likely because it is an extremely popular tourist destination with a predominantly private healthcare system.
Spain saw the second-highest number of claims overall, at 2769, as well as seeing more cancellation (797) and baggage (536) claims than any other country.
The UK’s most common travel insurance claim was for cancellations, with 523 made in 2018. Other types of claims in the UK were relatively low, with only 31 medical claims, 105 baggage claims and 209 travel delay claims made.
35% of people leave travel cover to the last minute and buy their travel insurance either on the day of travel or the day before. Getting cover so close to departure means that travel insurance may be void for cancellations, meaning if your travel operator goes into liquidation or your holiday is cancelled for any other reason you may not be covered and be able to make a claim.
Most travel insurance policies were taken out for travel to Europe, with 1,077,184 policies at an average of £8.84 per policy. This makes Europe the cheapest place for UK residents to get cover for. The most expensive continent to get cover is Oceania, at £38.60 for the average policy. This is closely followed by Antarctica, where the average policy costs £36.10.
Rachel Conaghan, Travel Expert at Alpha Travel Insurance, comments:
“Everyone hopes they will never need to make a travel insurance claim but unfortunately things don’t always go according to plan. If the time comes when you do need to make a claim, there are a few things you can do to make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible.
On your claim, go into as much detail as possible. Include everything you think could be relevant. Providers need as much information as possible to process your claim correctly so providing them with the full picture from the start will save them having to ask you for it later down the line.
When submitting your claim to your insurance provider you’re likely to need to send supporting documents. Make sure you know exactly what they need you to send and double-check you have included every piece of paperwork you’ve been asked for.
Many providers will allow you to send in any supporting paperwork electronically but if your provider needs you to send physical copies of documents, make a copy of them first and keep these safe. Then send the documents via recorded delivery”