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Biggest International Insurance Claims Revealed

William Russell has paid out almost US $156,000 in Covid related claims across the globe. We paid out $155,793.29 on 54 related claims in 26 countries across all continents with the exception of Antarctica. This included an evacuation case Malawi to Kenya with all additional requirements due to Covid, which the insurer said resulted in much higher costs than usual.

Highest expatriate medical claims for 2019-2020 revealed

Impact of Living Abroad During Covid

Research study: At least one international health insurance claim made during the period 2019-20 totaled over $390,000

Figures released highlight that the highest claims paid for medical treatment overseas in the period 2019-20 were for cancer treatments, with 25 claims worth over $100,000 including five over $300,000. Other treatments associated with huge sums included maternity care (highest claim $42,527.40), dental treatment (highest claim $8,336) and diabetes (highest claim $6,541.26).

The astronomical claim highlights the ever-increasing costs of medical care for expatriates and reveals the potential cost of living or working abroad without private health insurance.

Cancer insurance claims


Treatment Type Sum Paid Country
Cancer 393,998.00 Hong Kong
Cancer 356,941.00 Hong Kong
Cancer 353,584.00 Hong Kong
Cancer 331,352.00 Hong Kong
Cancer 318,464.00 Singapore
Cancer 297,365.00 Thailand
Cancer 289,391.20 Singapore
Cancer 226,237.55 Thailand
Cancer 225,237.55 South Africa
Cancer 219,910.75 Hong Kong

Biggest insurance claims globally

An estimated 5.5 million British people live in other countries, either permanently or for work. Many live in countries that require residents to pay for healthcare out of their own pockets, including popular destinations such as India, UAE and USA. British citizens already living in or planning to move to other countries are therefore urged to seek private medical insurance, lest they be left out of pocket by potentially life-changing sums, such as the ones revealed by William Russell.

However, it is not only sudden illnesses that William Russell urges expatriates to seek cover for. Long-term conditions such as diabetes and life events such as maternity will also require private medical insurance to cover their costs, as will dentistry. William Russell revealed that several claims for maternity treatments in the period 2019-20 added up to over $40,000, with Hong Kong the most expensive country for people giving birth abroad. Many costs associated with long-term illnesses, such as diabetes and routine dental work, also amounted to several thousands of dollars.

Maternity insurance claims


Treatment Type Sum Paid Country
Maternity 42,527.40 Hong Kong
Maternity 36,058.00 Hong Kong
Maternity 35,678.00 Hong Kong
Maternity 34,614.00 Hong Kong
Maternity 33,268.00 Hong Kong
Maternity 29,965.00 Hong Kong
Maternity 27,806.10 United Kingdom
Maternity 25,858.01 Hong Kong
Maternity 25,390.77 Hong Kong
Maternity 22,620.00 Hong Kong
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Biggest insurance payouts for other international health treatment


Treatment Type Sum Paid Country
Dental 8,336.00 Indonesia
Diabetes 6,806.91 Thailand
Diabetes 6,541.26 Thailand
Diabetes 5,298.00 Hong Kong
Diabetes 5,135.00 Japan
Dental 3,839.00 India & Indonesia
Diabetes 3,248.00 Japan
Dental 2,945.11 France
Dental 2,876.95 Israel
Dental 2,822.47 United Kingdom

Even something as simple as a childhood vaccination could cause significant costs for families living abroad. Our data reveals the escalating costs of childhood vaccinations, with some instances of vaccinations costing over $800.

The eye-watering costs were further exacerbated in instances where patients required medical evacuation. Medical evacuations are uncommon but are used when a patient requires specialist care in their home country. The most expensive claim made for a medical evacuation in 2019-20 was $31,125.02 USD.

The data show the huge financial risk for families living and working abroad who seek medical care without cover from international health insurance. It is all the more reason to search for international health insurance that will cover you and your family for any eventuality.
Inez Cooper
Founder & Managing Director, William Russell

These figures cover the period 2019-20, but at a time when the cost of global healthcare is increasing year-on-year, there is no telling what they may look like in 2020-21. This only serves to highlight how vital it is for families already living or planning to move abroad to urgently seek international health insurance from a trusted provider. Families may also want to consider the addition of medical evacuation insurance, which will provide cover should they need to travel to another country for medical treatment.

At William Russell, we provide all sorts of content through our website to help people learn about their healthcare options before or after relocating. We urge anyone living or working abroad to familiarise themselves with this content before making a decision regarding global health insurance.

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