Chubb: Medical Emergencies Top Fear for Travelers

January 11, 2005

More than 70 percent of Americans surveyed said their greatest concern when traveling is suffering a medical emergency (e.g., broken bones, heart attack, other sudden or serious injury or illness), according to a nationwide survey sponsored by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

The survey of 1,585 people, conducted this month by Impulse Research of Los Angeles, found that the concern regarding a medical emergency (73.5%) is more than double the fear of being mugged (30.7%), three times the fear of being injured in a terrorist attack (23.4%) and 10 times the fear of being sexually assaulted (7.6%) or being abducted (7.2%).

Serious injury/illness/hospitalization
More than half the respondents (55.3%) are most concerned about incurring a serious injury while traveling. Nearly one-third (32.5%) are worried about serious illness, and 12.2% fear a heart attack or stroke. Nearly 13% have required hospitalization while traveling, and more than 15% of survey participants have had to cut a trip short for a medical reason.

U.S. treatment favored
An overwhelming 92.4% of those surveyed said that if they experienced a medical emergency while traveling overseas, they would want the option of transferring to a U.S. or other advanced medical facility.

Travel warnings ignored
When planning a trip, 69% of those surveyed do not check the U.S. State Department’s travel warning list. More than 18% are not even aware of the list. Ten percent of respondents have canceled trips due to a State Department warning.

Adventurous vacations
“Americans are traveling more, especially to exotic locations, and they’re engaging in more adventurous activities,” said Luis Granados, vice president, Chubb & Son, and worldwide Signature manager, Chubb Personal Insurance. While vacationing, 26% of people ski, almost 14% of people go mountain climbing, and nearly 20% participate in what they describe as “other potentially dangerous activities,” according to the survey.

Rx on the road
Nearly 60% of people surveyed take medical precautions before traveling abroad, including vaccinations and packing antibiotics or other medications.

The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies has developed Signature
Passport, a new product designed to provide affluent leisure and business travelers with emergency medical transportation and related services.

The policy helps protect travelers anywhere in the world with no limitation on the number of trips that can be taken during the annual policy period. Chubb’s policy addresses the coordination and expense of emergency medical transportation, such as air ambulance. It also covers excess medical expense, felonious assault and accidental death and dismemberment.

Additionally, Signature Passport offers a variety of services, from transporting a loved one to the location where the insured is hospitalized to locating translation and legal services.

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