The cost of travelling uninsured: £40,000 for dengue fever or £760,000 for a stroke

Expect a £20,000 plus bill if you suffer heart problems in the Caribbean

Most holidaymakers don't claim on travel insurance: but what risk are you taking if you travel without it?

According to data from trade body the Association of British Insurers, the average travel insurance medical claim between 2011 and 2016 was £1,300, but this number can easily run far higher.

Many countries have vastly more expensive healthcare systems than Britain's, and injuries or illnesses that require significant time in hospital or repatriation via air ambulance can ramp up costs quickly.

Data compiled by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has revealed how high costs can run if you develop a serious injury or illness while abroad without insurance.

 *Reader Service: Compare policies and prices with Telegraph Travel Insurance

The example costs below are based on real customer claims data, provided by insurers Allianz, LV, Aviva and Just Travel Cover, and comparison service GoCompare.

The US

A one-night stay in an intensive care unit in the US could cost upwards of £5,000, while the medical costs for a fractured arm could run to £70,000.

Suffer a major event, and the final bill can be truly astronomical - having a stroke in the USA could lead to medical costs exceeding £760,000.

Spain

Breaking your arm in Spain could result in costs of £11,000, while up to one night of intensive care in the popular holiday destination runs £1,100 to £1,500.

The Caribbean

Suffering a heart problem in Barbados, including repatriation to the UK, could set you back £21,500.

Cyprus

Having a stroke in Cyprus could cost £16,480 including medical care and repatriation.

Falling ill without insurance in Cape Town could be costly Credit: Grant Duncan Smith/Getty

South Africa

Falling ill with pneumonia in South Africa could lead to medical costs of £31,500. 

Indonesia

Catching dengue fever in the southeast Asian nation could lead to medical bills totalling £40,000.

Greece

Developing pancreatitis in Greece could lead to costs exceeding £81,000. 

Mexico

An extreme case of gastroenteritis, requiring inpatient care, could end up costing £5,500.

UAE

Suffering a head injury requiring repatriation to the UK in destinations such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi could lead to costs of £50,000.

New Zealand

A severe fever requiring a hospital stay in New Zealand could result in medical costs of £2,500.

Thailand

Fracturing a hip in Thailand, requiring an air ambulance, would cost upwards of £80,000.

Other

In two specific cases, a jet ski accident in Turkey requiring surgery resulted in costs of £125,000, while complications from an insect bite in Chile led to a £136,000 bill including a medical escort home. 

Don't forget to declare medical conditions

One of the main reasons claims are turned down is if they relate to pre-existing conditions that weren’t declared from the outset. In 2018, 72pc of those aged over 55 plan to travel abroad, and 50pc of those have a pre-existing medical condition.

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