Fewer people taking out travel insurance when going abroad

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ABTA – The Travel Association recently revealed the worrying news that the number of people travelling abroad without travel insurance increased in 2012 from the previous year.

ABTA’s research revealed that nearly a quarter of all travellers leaving Britain are not taking out travel insurance, leaving them unprotected financially if something goes wrong, such as an accident leaving them in need of medical attention.

There were interesting differences in the demographics of people who travelled without insurance. For example, it was found that younger travellers and males were the least likely to take out travel insurance. In the 15-to-24 age group, nearly half of all travellers did not bother to take out insurance.

By region, London, Northern Ireland and the east of England were the worst areas for people travelling without insurance.

The research found that 16% of those who do not take out travel insurance think that it is not necessary and that the government will pay for their medical treatment abroad. This is a common but potentially disastrous misconception. Although the EHIC card does allow travellers to other EU countries to receive the same level of treatment provided to the country’s own citizens, it does not provide repatriation costs, which can run into tens of thousands of pounds.

Another third of those who do not take out insurance claimed that it is too expensive. This figure of 31% is up from 20% in 2011, showing a huge rise in the number of people who are claiming that it costs too much.

The ABTA has expressed alarm at the news. John de Vial from the company said that the figures were “alarming”, and that although they understood that people need to cut costs, travel insurance is an essential purchase that travellers should always make sure they buy before they leave the UK for any reason.


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