The average emergency medical assistance expense claim in 2016 across 115 countries travelled to by Irish holidaymakers was €4,482 – but claims made for assistance in the USA averaged €19,049, according to Allianz Global Assistance in Ireland.
However, analysis of emergency medical expenses in the top 10 most claimed against countries by the holidaymakers from Ireland saw this rise to over €4,717.
Tourists from Ireland who went to Spain made the most claims, accounting for over 30% of the top 10 claims by country. This was followed by the USA, France, Portugal and Thailand.
Roland Hesse, Managing Director, Allianz Worldwide Partners in Ireland, said: “Unfortunately, policyholders often underestimate the cost of medical treatment abroad. We are aware of a medical assistance claim for a policyholder in the USA where the current estimated cost is nearly €90,000. While claims of this magnitude occur only infrequently, it is reassuring to know that your travel insurance policy provides the protection to cover such potential life changing events.
“Most countries do not offer the equivalent of the Health Service Executive and a lot of treatment is private. In addition, the cost of repatriation is an often-overlooked expense that could easily run into thousands. Even if a policyholder has a European Health Insurance Card, this will not cover all costs.
“That said, holidaymakers travelling to Europe should make sure they have a free EHIC, which allows them to go to a GP or state-run hospital within the EU and receive treatment like a local. Everyone who is travelling should have one, including children, but they do go out of date, so check the HSE website to renew it for free. However the EHIC is not a replacement for insurance, it’s an added extra – and, of course, it won’t help those travelling further afield. In addition, it is vital that anyone with an existing medical condition declares it at the time of purchase, otherwise they may not be covered.
“Worryingly, over one in four holidaymakers have said they would risk travelling abroad without any travel insurance, leaving them and their loved ones potentially vulnerable to unexpected and significant medical costs. It is easy to think the worst won’t happen, but unfortunately sometimes it does and proper insurance cover offers the support people need in an emergency. For a small investment, people can get the cover they need and travel safe in the knowledge that they are protected should the worst happen.”
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|Average Cost of Medical Claim:||4,717.50|