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The $1,300 holiday howler: Hospital bed costs 44 times more than travel insurance

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A hospital bed overseas is 44 times more expensive on average than a travel insurance policy, according to new research by Finder.

Finder analysed the cost of a hospital bed against a travel insurance policy for a 1-week trip in July and found a stark price difference between them.

In New Zealand, travellers would pay $732 per night on average for a hospital bed – 80 times the average daily cost of travel insurance.

In the United States, visitors would be required to fork out a staggering $1,279 on average for a 1-night stay in hospital – 45 times the daily price of a policy.

In 6 of the top 10 destinations, travellers would need to fork up more for a hospital bed than they would for an Airbnb stay.

That contrast is greatest in Singapore, where a hospital bed costs 13 times more than an Airbnb rental per night on average.

Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder, said skipping travel insurance could come back to bite you.

"Healthcare costs overseas will cost you an arm and a leg, which is the last thing you want to be worrying about if something goes wrong.

"A basic insurance policy on the other hand comes in between $10 and $20 per day, and you can reduce this cost by increasing your excess if you like.

"​​It's always a good idea to take out insurance as soon as you book your trip. That way, if something happens – for example, if you catch COVID – you'll be covered.

"If you take out a policy after something happens, your claim will be rejected," Cooke said.

CountryCost of a hospital bed per nightCost of a basic travel insurance policy per dayCost of an Airbnb stay per night*
India$17$12$63
The Philippines$30$12$65
Indonesia$37$17$54
Fiji$74$12$97
Thailand$78$18$69
New Zealand$732$9$144
Japan$979$13$166
UK$1,125$9$294
Singapore$1,168$12$90
USA$1,279$29$287
Source: WHO, Covermore, Airbnb
Travel insurance costs are for a 30-year old traveller and are indicative only. Travel insurance quotes and Airbnb prices are based on the period 2–9 July.
Airbnb prices are for the capital cities in each country, with the exception of the US where New York was used.
Numbers are rounded to the nearest dollar.

Looking for the best travel insurance policy? Finder has selected top picks based on COVID cover, flight cancellations, family benefits and more.

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