10 March 2013
In retrospect, we suppose it was inevitable that the cut throat competition in the travel insurance market could not last forever. Insurers have been licking their wounds and are now taking action to ensure that they charge a premium commensurate with the risk and unfortunately, many travellers can expect to pay substantially more for their policy. Globelink have been working with underwriters to ensure that increases are kept as low as possible whilst continuing to provide decent level of security and service. Whilst Motor, Household and Medical Insurance have seen substantial annual increases over the last 5 years, travel insurance premiums have remained stable.
However, during the same period there have been double digit annual increases in the cost of overseas medical expenses and repatriation.Compared with 5 years ago the cost of medical treatment has increased by 33% in Europe, 35% and 65% in North America. During that same period, the cost of repatriation has doubled. During that same period, many travel insurance premiums have actually reduced!As an example, the surgical cost of a Heart Bypass in the United States is currently around £81,000 plus hospital charges averaging £2,500 per day. Globelink recently paid £45,397.31 to bring a client back to UK following heart surgery in USA. To make matters even worse, one expert has predicted that the cost of medical treatment around the world is going to double in the next five years.We have identified that the cost of medical treatment is far higher in USA, Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, Thailand and Japan compared to the rest of the world and therefore it is necessary to increase the premium for people travelling to those countries. People who will not be visiting those countries will be pleased to see that there is very little, and possibly no change at all in their travel insurance premiums. As a result of the economic climate, there is a growing trend in several EU countries for hospitals not to acknowledge the EHIC and this has resulted in small increases for European trips.
Globelink clients can rest assured knowing that we are doing everything we can to continue to provide the very best protection at a reasonable cost, and that we will still be dedicated to providing a personal service long after other providers have disappeared or merged into an impersonal call centre.
By David Deverson Travel Insurance correspondent. Globelink International. Email your travel insurance questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org