$223,255 medical bill highlights need for travel insurance

Posted: 30 May 2018 6:25 am
News

Travel insurer pays claims worth "more than three times the deposit of an average house in Sydney".

A bout of pneumonia, coupled with legionnaires' disease and emphysema, left one Aussie traveller with a travel insurance claim nearing a quarter of a million dollars ($223,255), according to InsureandGo. The travel insurer recently released its top five claims of 2017 and all-in-all InsureandGo paid out almost three-quarters of a million dollars for its top five claims of 2017.

“When you have claims that are more than three times the deposit of an average house in Sydney, it’s no laughing matter,” said general manager of InsureandGo Australia Raphael Bandeira in a statement.

Of the top five claims, three required repatriation to Australia from China, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Country Reason Age Cost
Italy Multiple illnesses 71 $223,255
China Spinal injury due to fall 76 $150,103
Indonesia Multiple illnesses 75 $144,829
Philippines Stroke 91 $114,300
Chile Chest Pains 70 $104,935

All of the top five claims involved a senior traveller, which may explain why travel insurers levy such heavy premiums on those over the age of 65 heading overseas. In fact, many insurers don't offer cover to those over the age of 80. While that doesn't mean you can't find affordable travel insurance, it does limit your options.

We saw a range of medical emergencies top our list of claims for what may be low-cost incidents when in Australia

These claims from InsureandGo highlight just how much medical costs vary from one country to the next. Had these people sustained their injuries in Australia, the treatment costs would have been far less.

“Looking back at 2017, we saw a range of medical emergencies top our list of claims for what may be low-cost incidents when in Australia. However, these can easily balloon while overseas when factoring in costs such as repatriation, medical expenses and flights for family members to accompany ill travellers,” said Bandeira.

These findings back up research from finder.com.au, which found buying travel insurance could help Aussie travellers avoid enormous out-of-pocket medical costs overseas.

The analysis centred on data collected by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and how much just the "hotel" component of a night's stay in hospital would cost you in a range of countries around the world. The analysis found Monaco was the most expensive destination in the world to be hospitalised, at a cost of AUD$3,444 per day for a hospital bed.

The most expensive destinations to spend the night in hospital

Country Average cost of a hospital bed for 1 day Cost of travel insurance
Monaco $3,444 $47
Luxembourg $1,813 $52
Norway $1,343 $51
Qatar $1,308 $53
Switzerland $882 $51
San Marino $845 $52
Denmark $808 $51
Ireland $804 $49
United Arab Emirates $727 $51
Netherlands $711 $50

With these extraordinary medical costs in mind, it's easy to see why 90% of Australians get travel insurance before they go overseas. If you're planning a trip abroad, make sure you at least have cover for medical. Compare your options today and protect yourself against overseas medical costs.

Compare travel insurance online

Made a search before? Retrieve your search results

At least one destination is required
Both dates are required
Add more travellers
Enter the age of each traveller between 0 and 99

Enter a valid email address

At least one destination is required
Starting date is required
Add more travellers
Enter the age of each traveller between 0 and 99

Enter a valid email address

Type or Select your destination(s)

Popular Destinations

Americas
Asia
Europe
Pacific
Africa
Can't find your destination? Just type it in the box above.

We compare products from

By submitting this form, you agree to the finder.com.au Privacy & Cookies Policy and Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy.

Travel insurance news

Picture: Shutterstock

Get more from Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site