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Warning over travelling without insurance

03 September 2015 09:22

One in 5 people travel abroad without travel insurance

One in 5 people travel abroad without travel insurance

Holidaying abroad without travel insurance can leave you and your family at risk of paying four-figure medical bills - but one in 5 are still jetting off uninsured.

That's according to travel body Abta, which has urged people to make sure they're covered after revealing that 20% of tourists do not arrange travel insurance for their holiday.

Taking the sensible option

Trusted travel insurance offers the peace of mind of round-the-clock medical emergency cover and the replacement of lost medication. It'll also cover you for lost suitcases, passports and more.

But Abta says many Brits are travelling without insurance cover - running the risk of having to pay four-figure medical bills. It says this sum escalates if people require a special air ambulance to return them to the UK.

What the Abta study finds - key statistics

- The number of Brits travelling without insurance this year is roughly the same as 2014 - young holidaymakers (aged 16 to 24) travelling without insurance are on the rise. Up from 22% to 33% this year - A third of people aged 25 to 34 are travelling without insurance

So why are Brits spurning travel insurance?

Abta partly attributes the lack of uptake on young tourists' confusion about the European Health Insurance Card's (EHIC) remit. Many of them (22%) falsely believe that no travel insurance is needed as they already possess an EHIC.

But Abta says this is no like-for-like travel insurance replacement. For example, it will not pay for air ambulance costs to fly Britons back to their homeland. Neither will it cover private medical attention or extra expenses, including family accommodation.

It adds that it will give travellers access to public medical care across the majority of the continent in the event of emergencies, however.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Abta, says each year the organisation hears of uninsured tourists suffering tragic accidents or sickness who then have to settle bills amounting to four-figure sums.