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Travel insurers paid out £1m a day last year, figures show

Insurers paid out £199 million alone across the year on emergency medical treatment.

Around £1 million in travel insurance claims was paid out every day last year typically, according to industry figures.

Across 2016, a total of £370 million, equating to around £1 million every day, 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 £455 million.

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Medical costs abroad can soon add up. (Ian Parker/PA)

Last year’s total includes £17 million paid out for baggage and money lost by people while travelling, £199 million on emergency medical treatment and £130 million for cancelled holidays.

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.

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Check policies carefully before travelling. (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Single trip policies can be cheaper, the ABI said, often costing less than what a family may spend on a snack or a couple of glasses of wine at the airport.

Mark Shepherd, assistant director, head of property at the ABI, said: “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.

“Travel insurance is not a nice thing to have but should be an essential purchase. Insurers support and help thousands of travellers and their families should the worst happen, paying nearly nine in 10 claims that are made.”

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