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One in five holidaymakers travel without insurance

Written by: Emma Lunn
A fifth of Brits are gambling with their finances by going on holiday without travel insurance, according to the RAC.

Those that travel without cover risk paying thousands in medical bills or lost property, or being left out of pocket if they need to cancel their trip.

It found that of those who do not take travel insurance out, almost two-thirds cannot see the point in having it. This is despite the fact that last year it was estimated that travel insurance could save the average holidaymaker more than £5,000 per trip if they were to need medical treatment abroad.

In a survey of 1,200 members of the RAC Opinion Panel it was found that 15 per cent used to have travel insurance but now felt they no longer need it because they’ve never previously had to make a claim.

For those that do buy travel insurance, 34 per cent buy a standalone policy each time they travel, 25 per cent have an annual policy and 15 per cent take advantage of a policy that is part of a product bundle with their bank.

Of those who take out travel insurance, almost half said their biggest concern was paying for medical treatment abroad. In the US, for example, a hospital stay can cost about £4,000 a day – while more intensive treatment can cost a lot more.

The survey also revealed that Brits are also prone to losing possessions abroad. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of respondents said they had lost sunglasses while on holiday, whereas 10 per cent had lost a tablet or camera, and a further 11 per cent had lost a phone.

Simon Williams, RAC travel insurance spokesperson, said: “Our latest survey results show that Brits are taking a serious financial gamble, travelling without insurance. Travel insurance not only protects you if you need medical assistance or lose your possessions, it also ensures financial redress if the company goes bust.”

However, a survey by Defaqto earlier this year found less than half (48 per cent) of travel insurance policies offer cover for airline failure as standard, meaning travellers could be left unprotected if the airline they’ve booked with goes bust.

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