One in five of us don't get travel insurance when going abroad

Bitterwallet - cheap summer holidaysOne in five holidaymakers (20%) is travelling overseas uninsured, running the risk of bills running into thousands should they run into medical trouble overseas, according to travel association ABTA.

The latest survey of over 2000 people found that while the overall number of holidaymakers riding bareback is similar to last year, there has been a rise in younger travellers doing so, with a third of 16-24 year olds travelling uninsured, up from 22% in 2014, and a similar proportion (32%) of 25-34 year olds.

ABTA reckon that the younger generation are over-estimating the benefits of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which may be partly responsible for them not taking out insurance. We looked at why you need an EHIC last month, but also outlined the reasons why travel insurance is still necessary as well as your EHIC.

While it is good that younger folks appreciate the value of an EHIC, more than one in five (22%) of 16-24 year olds asked in this latest research believe they do not need travel insurance because they have an EHIC, but although an EHIC will give access to emergency state medical care throughout most of Europe, they don't realise it is not a substitute for travel insurance and will not cover the cost of repatriation to the UK in an air ambulance, private medical care or additional expenses, such as accommodation for family staying in resort, for example.

Or it may be that people are eschewing travel insurance as a way to save money. As for any insurance product, if you don’t pay a premium and nothing goes wrong, you have saved the cost of that premium. The risk here is that if things do go wrong, that’s an awful lot of missed premiums’ worth of cash to find. Financial constraints were cited as a reason for not taking out travel insurance, with 30% of all respondents with children (who, it could be argued, are more likely to end up damaging themselves accidentally) saying cost is the principal reason they do not buy a policy.

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: "It is a real concern that we see so many travellers telling us that they have recently gone overseas without travel insurance. Every year we come across tragic incidents of people having accidents or falling ill overseas without travel insurance and then having to pay bills which can quickly run into thousands of pounds.

"Often they are younger travellers and their families are left with the burden of having to pick up the bill. Whatever your financial circumstances may be, avoiding taking out travel insurance is a very false economy."


  • DrJogalog
    One in five are either very, very rich or completed stupid then.
  • Topcaty
    I would say "completed stupid " too, but i`m not completely stupid though.
  • Panddda
    There's no excuse for it. We paid about £47 this year for an annual, worldwide policy for a family of 4, and a fairly comprehensive mid-range one at that. If you can't afford that (or much less fo a single trip or very basic alternative) then you really shouldn't be travelling overseas in the first place.

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