Travel insurance is one of those things we hope we’ll never need to use… however, it’s also something Monarch recommends you never go without. We’ve pulled together some compelling research about travel insurance from ABTA -and the FCO which really begs the question – why would you travel without it?    Sun hat sunglasses book and a towel on a beach
Going on holiday is one of the highlights of the year for some, and none of us really wants to think about something going wrong while we are enjoying sun, sea and sangria. Travelling abroad uninsured can cost thousands if a trip goes wrong. Yet according to research by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), more than one in three (38%)* young Brits* don’t think it is necessary to take out insurance when they travel overseas. If something goes wrong, this often leaves families picking up the pieces… and the bills. Young people aged 16-24 years old have been labelled as those least likely to organise insurance, opting to “take the risk” in hope of saving some money off their holiday costs.

The researchers noted in their report: “In reality it is the holidaymaker or their family who will pick up the bill if they are not covered, and this can range from £500 to treat a sprained ankle in a popular holiday resort like Corfu, to £15,000 to £20,000 for a scheduled flight, stretcher and medical escort from Australia.*** Serious injuries can also lead to bills of thousands of pounds a day which can rapidly escalate to very substantial sums.”

Facing potential costs like that, it really puts the price of a travel insurance policy in perspective.

The research also shows that one in five young people also think that a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) acts as a full insurance policy when abroad. However,  it may surprise you to learn that an EHIC only provides access to state medical care in the European Economic Area and does not cover other costs such as bringing the individual back to the UK.

Travel insurance tip 1: When booking your holiday, we recommend you always check your insurance is comprehensive enough to cover you for the activities you’re planning to do, to ensure there’s no nasty surprises. Potentially riskier activities like skiing and extreme sports, certain destinations and some medical conditions may not be covered by your existing policy. You should also have at least £1m of personal liability cover in case something happens and you face claims against you personally as a result.

Travel insurance tip 2: It’s also a good idea to check whether precious belongings like smartphones, tablets and laptops are covered in the event of damage or loss abroad, as home contents, gadget or credit card insurance may not cover you overseas. Baggage insurance and cancellation cover should be at least as high as the value of the baggage you are taking with you, and the cost of your holiday to ensure you aren’t left out of pocket.

Travel insurance tip 3: It’s good to talk! Don’t be afraid to make a quick phone call to double check before your departure to ensure you’re covered. If you have any concerns that your baggage or gadgets may not be covered it’s a great way to double check. Making the phone call means you can chat over all the the options about upgrading, a possibly change or even just a tweak to your policy before you travel. Make sure you keep the relevant documents with you in a safe place, most companies give you a handy one-pager of how to get in touch and which numbers to call so it’s a good idea to take more than one copy of this with you (in case one gets lost!).

Travel insurance tip 4: It’s important to know that your treatment costs would not be covered by the UK Government if you had an accident or fell ill while abroad – a mistaken belief held by 16% of those surveyed in the research.

Travel insurance tip 5: There are many different comprehensive insurance options to choose from on the market, and as a starting point we’d recommend taking a look at (we would say that, wouldn’t we!). If you travel abroad a few times a year, then getting multi-trip cover will work out cheaper for you. Buying single policies each time will become expensive and you could forget to buy it before you go, which will be a disaster.It’s a good idea to consider your own personal needs and budget as you compare the various travel insurance options available.

Notes *The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2008 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to August 2013. Fieldwork was conducted by Arkenford in August 2013. ***Figures supplied by FirstAssist Services Ltd.

Do you have any top travel insurance tips to share? We’d love to see your comments below!


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