The average cost of medical bills for Brits taken ill or injured abroad has reached dramatic levels, prompting warnings that travel insurance is more important than ever.
Sainsbury's Travel Insurance revealed details of claims made by customers for medical treatment in 10 popular holiday destinations, with the average claim being £1,333. There was some significant variation: while the average claim in Greece was just £422, the respective figure in the United States was an eye-watering £4,726.
Naturally costs depend on the treatment, with heart attacks leading to an average £8,147 claim, but even seemingly minor complaints can be pricey: the average ear infection leads to £320 in costs.
The high charges have been blamed on healthcare costs rising faster than inflation, partly because both the quality of care and the expectations of patients continues to rise.
Despite these huge financial risks, one insurer estimates that 15% of travellers still go abroad without insurance, while half of those who do take out policies don't check what is covered until after buying.