Summer holiday season is just about over and Brits have been travelling abroad en masse. But what happens when it’s not all fun in the sun? Every year, thousands of Brits fall ill and claim on their travel insurance, with popular destinations like Spain and the U.S. topping the list as 28% of UK tourists claim whilst visiting the countries. That’s why Get Going, leading medical travel insurance providers, have put together this essential guide for adventurers keen to protect themselves – and their cash.
Get Going’s guide ranks the best – and worst – destinations to fall ill on holiday, citing factors such as average medical travel insurance claim costs, the risk of infectious disease, vaccination recommendations, and clean water availability. Taking the risks into account can ensure travellers are prepared should something unfortunate happen.
Best Places to Fall Ill
- Belgium – The nation ranks as the best destination to fall ill in, with only 0.20% of UK tourists making claims whilst on holiday. The average medical health claim will set you back £255.86, but with 128 health professionals per 10,000 – Belgium and the UK have the least vaccinations recommended for entry.
- Israel – Despite being the most expensive out of the top three for medical claims, Israel has one of the lowest risks of major disease. Only 0.10% of UK tourists make a claim whilst visiting.
- Finland – Known for its vast wilderness and ski resorts, Finland is actually the cheapest country for healthcare claims, with an average claim costing £118.63. The nation also has the third highest skilled health professional density, with 175 health professionals per 10,000 residents.
Worst Places to Fall Ill
- Mexico – Those looking for a spot of sunshine and adventure might decide to travel to Mexico, but with lack of clean water and a risk of major infectious diseases, the country tops the list of worst places to fall ill in. Whilst only 2% of UK tourists make a claim in the country, the average cost of a medical claim is £962.00 and the nation also has one of the lowest health professional densities.
- Poland – With 108 health professionals per 10,000 people, Poland is well served in comparison to countries like South Korea and Turkey. However, with an intermediate risk of major infectious diseases and lack of 100% clean water – it may come as a surprise that Poland is one of the riskiest places to fall ill.
- Estonia – Known for its forests and elegant castles, Estonia has a growing tourism industry. However, with an intermediate risk, Estonia also requires a number of recommended vaccinations and it is a requirement to have the tetanus vaccine for entry.
Holiday Illness Costs by Numbers
- Japan ranks as the most expensive destination for medical travel insurance claims, closely followed by the USA, with the average claims setting tourists back nearly £2,000 upfront: more than many can afford to spend on a holiday itself.
- Finland is actually the cheapest of all nations to fall ill, with an average medical travel insurance claim being just £118.63.
- Perhaps surprisingly, Finland is then followed by the UK, with an average medical travel insurance claim of £244.78
- Hungary, Ireland, Israel and Austria follow in their relatively affordable footsteps.