Travel insurance not taken by a fifth of Britons


New evidence suggests that Brits are failing to take out insurance for their holidays. The new research also states that most people underestimate the value of their combined luggage by hundreds of pounds. Following a spike in travel insurance purchases after the Iceland volcano incident in April this year, 20% of people still do not believe they need travel insurance.

The poll, conducted in August, asked a random sample of three thousand holidaymakers about whether or not they choose to take out insurance for their trips and the details of their cover. It was revealed that one fifth of those questioned do not take out any travel insurance, whilst those who do vastly underestimate the value of what they take with them.

The poll was conducted online by Sheilas’ Wheels travel insurance via an online polling group.

Jacky Brown at Sheilas’ Wheels said: "The majority of folk don’t give a second thought to the value of the goods they are packing into their suitcase and hand luggage, but in reality the contents are worth thousands".

According to the poll, the contents held within an average Brit's holiday baggage are worth around £3175. This high sum takes into account sunglasses to the value of £94, jewellery worth £237, and electrical equipment such as cameras, camcorders, shavers, mp3 players, laptops and phones. The electrical equipment category includes some of the most expensive goods in an average suitcase and reaches an average sum of £1,208. Further expenses were said to be clothes, shoes, personal grooming and hygiene products, baby equipment, and the actual value of the suitcases.

It is easy to forget the value of everyday items like clothing or electrical equipment but it could be very expensive to repurchase all the goods that are taken on holiday if they were lost. Compounding this is the simple truth that thieves target tourists because they have all their valuables in one place and will have more difficulty reporting and following up a crime.

The eruption of Icelandic volcanoes that delayed travel plans over several weeks in April and May this year highlighted the possible need for travel insurance. Natural hazards such as these that cause such widespread disruption are rare, but smaller incidents, ranging from earthquakes (which are common in the Americas and Asia), to simply being late for, and missing, flights can be disastrous. On top of this, personal injury while abroad can delay travel plans and may possibly mean incurring medical expenses.

The average person may only need to use travel insurance a few times in their life, if at all. However, it is worth being aware of the value of goods taken with you and the potential costs arising from an accident or natural hazard.

More information on the Sheilas’ Wheels poll can be found here.


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