Brits urged to take out travel insurance

Millions of holidaymakers are putting themselves at risk, as research reveals that almost one in four people are travelling overseas without ensuring they have a travel insurance policy in place.

This is a significant increase from the one in five people who travelled uninsured in 2011. The number of people taking out annual cover has also plummeted, dropping from 30% in 2011 to 23% in 2012. The extra expense is the main reason behind the trend. While 20% of people cited the cost as their reason for not taking out insurance in 2011, this has risen sharply to a third.

John de Vial, Head of Financial Protection at travel association ABTA said: “The increase in the number of people travelling uninsured is alarming. “In these tough economic times holidaymakers may feel pressure to cut costs but travel insurance is an essential. Now is a popular time to book a holiday and we strongly advise people to buy travel insurance at the same time.

“We hear too many horror stories of people who have forked out huge sums of money or not got the right treatment because they’ve had an accident abroad and been uninsured.” Young travellers are putting themselves at most risk, with nearly half of 15-24 year olds travelling overseas uninsured. Males are also 8% less likely than females to take out travel insurance.

Perhaps the importance of travel insurance is shrugged off due to various misconceptions. For example, 16% of consumers mistakenly think that the UK Government will pay for their treatment should they fall ill abroad, and therefore see travel insurance as unnecessary.

In addition, 17% of people are unaware that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) only provides access to basic state medical care and will not cover the cost of a regular flight or air ambulance back to the UK. Taking out a travel insurance policy immediately after booking your holiday is the best way to ensure you do not forget this crucial element of your overseas getaway.

Date Created: 06 February 2013

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