Let’s be honest, when it comes to booking a holiday the least exciting part possible is purchasing travel insurance. Even changing currency can put you in that holiday mood but buying cover for your trip is seen as an arbitrary transaction which just adds on another cost.
While it may not be the most glamorous part of your holiday, the Travel Association (Abta) is urging Brits to make sure they are insured before they jet off. It comes as the organisation revealed that as many as two in five people – 9.9 million Brits – travelled abroad in the past 12 months without the correct cover policy.
Abta found that holidaymakers were also taking part in activities which may not have been covered. It warned that without proper insurance there is an increased risk of spiralling medical costs should they have an accident.
The organisation noted that one in five people had gone on some holidays completely uninsured within the past 12 months while one in four had not mentioned a pre-existing medical condition to their insurance provider. As summer approaches Abta is urging holidaymakers to invest in the right level of cover to safeguard any unforeseen incidents.
There is a common misconception that the European Health Insurance Card (EIHC) provides sufficient cover. However, Abta stresses that while it is important to have this card – which provides access to medical care in a foreign country – it does not include repatriation to the UK if someone falls seriously ill.
One of the main reasons why people were not purchasing travel insurance was the cost but Abta notes that holidaymakers can access free travel insurance through bank accounts or credit cards. It adds that the small cost is a price to pay to avoid expensive hospital bills should anything go awry while on holiday.
Mark Tanzer, Abta’s chief executive, said: “Every year we see cases of people falling into difficulty due to travelling without sufficient travel insurance. While many people are still choosing not to take out travel insurance at all, others are travelling unaware that their insurance policy is not protecting them as they expect.
“I would urge all holidaymakers to make sure they take out travel insurance and check that it covers their circumstances and holiday plans.”
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