Falling ill or being involved in an accident whilst on holiday is something that we never want or expect to happen, which is why travel insurance with emergency medical expenses cover is so important to make sure you can get the treatment you need.

It is a key part of travel insurance which is there to protect you in the event that you fall ill or sustain injury whilst on holiday.

Travel insurance with up to £10,000,000 emergency medical expenses cover.

Fundamentally, your travel insurance covers the cost of emergency treatment you receive abroad, but you may also find cover that helps with some associated costs including;

  • Repatriation: Returning you to your home or to a hospital or nursing home in your home country, if this is medically necessary.
  • Transport and Accommodation: Reasonable extra transport and accommodation costs for you and one other person who stays with or travels with you, or travels to you from your home country, on medical advice.
  • Search and Rescue: Mountain search and rescue services when medically necessary.
  • Hospital inconvenience: Compensation paid for unused accommodation and other travel expenses you have lost.

Our policies provide the following levels of cover for emergency medical associated expenses:

Given that the medical expenses are one of the fundamental elements of travel insurance, almost all travel insurance policies cover medical expenses as standard. The levels of cover will differ as well as the precise elements of what is and is not covered so make sure you read the policy wording carefully so you know what you will and won’t be covered for and it provides the level of cover for the destination you’re heading to.

A good policy will provide £1m or more cover for Europe and £2m or more for the USA according to moneyhelper.org.uk

The table below shows the cover that you can receive and the appicable limits under the emergency medical associated expenses section of our cover.

Search and Rescue, Transport and Accommodation, Hospital Inconvenience and Repatriation are benefits included within the overall Emergency Medical Associated expenses limit.

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Single Trip and Annual Multi Trip
Single Trip and Annual Multi Trip
Single Trip and Annual Multi Trip
All backpacker policy types
Emergency Medical Associated expenses
GP 24/7 Online
Inpatient Benefit
£10 per day (up to £200)
£20 per day (up to £200)
£20 per day (up to £500)
£20 per day (up to £500)
Funeral Expenses

Costs of medical treatment overseas can vary dramatically depending upon what treatment you need, where you are taken for treatment and the country you are travelling in.

The true value of travel insurance is evident when we look at the potential costs of treatment should you not have adequate cover.

In the USA, treatment for a broken leg could cost over £6,000 once x-rays, casts and hospital stays are taken into account.

The same treatment in Europe may be significantly cheaper if you are taken to a public hospital where treatment is likely to be covered under the EHIC or GHIC scheme. If however, you are taken to private hospital – where the GHIC or EHIC scheme does not cover private treatment - the average cost of treatment for a broken leg in Spain is £2,500.

Woman by pool
Woman by pool

If you have chosen to take part in an activity that is not covered on your policy then any emergency medical expenses that occur as a result will not be covered. This extends to whether you have travelled to a destination against FCDO advice.

You should also be aware that medical expenses that have been caused whilst you have been under the influence of alcohol or non-prescription drugs or are a result of violent behaviour will also be unlikely to be covered.

Equally, any medical expenses which arise from a pre-existing condition that you fail to tell your insurer about or is not specifically covered, this includes terminal conditions. It also extends to any treatment that can wait until you return home, are by their nature not deemed as emergency treatment, therefore you wouldn’t be covered if it is possible to have these treated once you return to the UK. 

Pre-existing medical conditions

Around 1 in 3 UK travellers have some sort of existing condition that they look to get covered when heading away for a trip.

You should declare any pre-existing conditions to your insurer at the point you take out your policy, this way you will be aware of whether your condition can be covered and once confirmed, you will have peace of mind that should the condition flare up whilst you’re away that you are protected.

Covering an existing condition will increase the cost of your travel insurance policy you pay, but if you exclude a condition then you have a flare up this may result in you needing to pay for expensive medical treatment.

Find out more about pre-existing conditions travel insurance.


Skiing and winter sports

If you intend to go skiing, snowboarding or other winter sports then you will need to get covered specifically for this activity.

Naturally injuries are more likely to occur with more dangerous activities and therefore additional cover is needed. This will cost more to cover, but does provide the peace of mind should something go wrong whilst you’re on the slopes.

Find out more about our winter sport and ski cover.

Many bank accounts and credit cards come with some level of travel insurance cover. While some may be comprehensive, they may not cover you for everything you have planned whilst you’re away, particularly if you have adventurous plans or unusual excursions booked. 

Make sure you look into the travel insurance policy that you have before every trip, to make sure it’s suitable for you and your plans.

Purchasing a holiday using a credit card means you are often protected by Consumer Protection cover. In most cases, it allows you to get your money returned to you if your provider defaults and you cannot travel.

If you have booked a holiday through a tour operator or travel agent, it may be worth checking if you are covered by ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) or ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s License). This type of cover means that your package holiday is protected if, for example, the travel company providing your holiday arrangements or the travel agent themselves fail financially or close down.

Your travel agents will be able to tell you if your holiday is ABTA or ATOL protected. Alternatively, use the links provided to check your cover at home.

Having a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) will entitle you to the government-provided healthcare of the European Union country you are visiting and lowering the medical costs you would normally expect to pay. Although this is a good addition to take on holiday, it should not be seen as a replacement for travel insurance which could provide you with further protection and peace of mind whilst you are abroad. Our travel insurance policies can protect you against many unforeseen eventualities.
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