The most expensive countries to fall ill in

DoctorThe US, Canada and the Caribbean are the most expensive places to fall ill while on holiday. In Canada, the average claim is £12,130 while the average claim in the US/Caribbean is £9,245.

On the other end of the scale France is one of the cheapest countries to fall ill with the average claim at £3,199, according to data from All Clear Insurance.


Total annual claims value

Average claim

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Pre-existing medical conditions
Even when holidaymakers are buying insurance, often they are not declaring pre-existing medical conditions and are therefore not able to claim on the insurance if they fall ill.

In a study of more than 2,000 adults aged over 55, many were unaware of the kind of conditions which should be declared when taking out insurance. When asked which conditions they would leave off; 56% said high cholesterol, 55% wouldn't mention low blood pressure and 58% would leave asthma off the list.

Back pain was also ignored by 77% of holidaymakers while 76% left off arthritis and 71% didn't mention depression.

When it comes to more serious illnesses, the research shows that 34% of those in the same age bracket do not see cancer or high blood pressure as something to tell an insurer if the illness is in remission or being controlled through medication.

But Mike Rutherford, All Clear Chairman, points out that insurers need to be told about all of these conditions or the policy may be unusable.

"Clearly the insurance industry has an enormous role to play in making travellers aware of what could invalidate their insurance in the event of a claim," said Rutherford.

Make sure your holiday doesn't end in disaster – get travel insurance

How to choose the right travel insurance
Choosing the right travel insurance is extremely important as without it you could end up paying hundreds or thousands as the data above has shown.

There are several different choices available, such as European or worldwide, single or annual, so you need to make sure you've got enough cover, and you've declared any pre-existing conditions.
It's also important to factor in everything you'll do on your trip. For example, if you're going skiing or snowboarding you'll need to make sure you have winter sports cover included in the policy.
You can find out more in our article: How to get top travel insurance for your holiday.

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The most expensive countries to fall ill in

If you are a victim of a strike, or any other event beyond the airline's control (including ash clouds!), they must offer you a refund (in which case it's up to you to find a way home) or an alternative flight. While you are waiting for the flight you have the right to food and refreshment and accommodation.

If you are on a package holiday, your tour operator is entirely responsible for looking after you until you get back to the UK.

This is more likely to happen due to the financial crisis, but in some situations you are covered. 

If you pay by credit card and it's over £100, you'll get a refund from the card company. 

Your travel insurance may well cover you too, but check before you go.  

Talk to the airline, and if it is temporarily misplaced they should arrange for it to be sent to your accommodation, and you should be either given cash to cover the essentials in the interim.

If it's completely lost you must wait 21 days and then make a claim for compensation. If you are travelling as part of a package you can claim costs from your operator.

If you are travelling within the EU you need an EHIC card, which gives you access to public healthcare. However, this won't necessarily be free, and if you need extra services such as accommodation for a carer, a helicopter home or a delayed flight, you could end up seriously out of pocket.

The only protection that will guarantee you will be looked after without running up a horrendous debt is by having travel insurance - which often covers up to £10 million of costs.

The most common form of theft is pick-pocketing, followed by theft from a car and bag snatching. Meanwhile, 752,000 of those surveyed had items stolen from their hotel room or villa.

If you have anything stolen, your only protection is insurance. You need to tell the local police immediately and get a crime reference for your travel insurer.


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