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More than one in five Brits still travel abroad without insurance

When it comes to creating a list of holiday essentials, travel insurance often slips to the bottom of the pile as Brits focus their attention on finding an overseas destination that offers the perfect combination of sun, sea and sand.

Brits travel abroad without insuranceNow, new research from ABTA has revealed that some Brits leave little room in their travel itineraries for organising the finer points of their holiday cover as they get swept up in the holiday spirit.

Figures from the research show that just over a fifth (over 22%) of holidaying Brits still head to foreign shores without putting travel insurance in place, with this figure rising by 3% compared to 2013.

Younger travellers led the way when it came to neglecting to put travel insurance among their list of ‘must have’ holiday items with the above figure rising to 35% of 16-24 year olds and 36% of 25-34 year olds.

This reluctance to take out travel insurance may in large part be due to the fact that many Brits mistakenly believe that the government will cover their medical expenses if they are sick or injured when abroad.

These respective figures were 19% for 16-24 year olds and 23% for 25-34 year olds. In reality, while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will provide consular assistance to Brits abroad, this does not extend to footing their medical bills.

Even the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) only covers state medical treatment in applicable countries and does not include the cost of repatriation to the UK, mountain rescue in ski resorts and a number of other scenarios Brits may encounter on holiday.

Commenting on the research findings, Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said:

“It is a worrying trend that we are seeing an increase in the number of people travelling overseas uninsured. Younger travellers are driving this increase through a mixture of misunderstandings and a desire to save money. Comprehensive travel insurance is available for relatively small amounts and medical bills can quickly mount up to thousands of pounds, so travelling uninsured can prove to be a very costly mistake.”

If you are heading off on holiday in the coming weeks and months it’s important to organise comprehensive travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 24 October 2014

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