WHEN travelling abroad, whether for business, study or holiday, Slovaks are exposed to numerous risks. Based on the statistics of the biggest insurance company in Slovakia, Allianz– Slovenská Poisťovňa, published in mid-May, subtropical and tropical countries pose the greatest risks, especially due to the different climate and hygienic conditions.

Allianz–Slovenská Poisťovňa reported that the highest number of claims – 469 – occurred in Turkey in 2013, but it ascribes this high number to the country’s popularity as a tourist destination among Slovaks.

For countries like Turkey or Egypt, occurrences of stomach and intestinal illnesses are common.
Croatia, another popular holiday destination among Slovaks, also ranks among those countries with a higher number of claims. Last year, Allianz–Slovenská Poisťovňa registered 312 claims there.

But it may be of some surprise that Germany, with 280 claims, ranked as the third-riskiest country, though the insurer estimates that these claims were mostly related to working stays.

But the ranking of countries in terms of the total claims paid out differs. Turkey tops it again with a total of €595,000, followed by the US with €437,000, with high claims also resulting from holidays in Egypt and Greece.

However, the US can serve as an example of a country where even a less serious injury or illness may cost the traveller a fortune.

The biggest claim Allianz–Slovenská Poisťovňa reported in 2013 amounted to €180,000 to cover the treatment of a Slovak who was seriously injured while on vacation in the US.

During the previous years the insurer registered an even higher claim of about €360,000, which also involved surgery in the US and repatriation to Slovakia.

The US topped the ranking with the highest claims, followed by Egypt with a claim of €40,000 for hospital treatment and transport to Slovakia, and Russia with a claim of €23,000 for hospital treatment and transport to Slovakia.