64% of overseas holiday planners say they’ll skip travel insurance

Worrying new figures suggest huge oversight could lose holidaymakers an average £1,600…

Tom Harrison
Content writer
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Posted 10 AUGUST 2020

Almost two-thirds of people hoping to head abroad on their next holiday say they won’t take out travel insurance – as uncertainty reigns over COVID-19 related claims.

While over a quarter of UK adults (26%) expect their next break to be overseas, only 36% of these will arrange cover – new comparethemarket.com research reveals – with travel guidance and restrictions once again changing by the day.

But Anna McEntee, director of insurance at comparethemarket.com reminds holidaymakers that many providers now offer comprehensive cover for any medical, repatriation or cancellation claims linked to the virus.

Travel cover ‘as important as ever’

With countries like Spain recently being unexpectedly removed from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) quarantine exemption list – more tour operators, airlines and hotels have been forced to cancel trips.

Our research shows the typical UK holidaymaker will spend around £1,600 on their next trip – meaning those who take the risk of travelling without insurance stand to lose large amounts should the worst happen.

And with a growing proportion of insurance providers now offering “enhanced COVID-19 protection” policies – which specifically cover cancellations linked to the virus – the value of an appropriate policy can’t be overstated.

Anna McEntee said: “It is worrying to see that many potential holidaymakers are willing to run the risk of travelling abroad without insurance, despite many providers now offering comprehensive cover for COVID-19 related claims.

“Having appropriate insurance in place is still as important as ever and proper cover remains a much-needed safeguard against standard holiday mishaps such as lost or stolen luggage.

“Holidays and spending time with loved ones are important to many of us and are often one of our biggest expenses throughout the year, so it is really important to take measures to protect yourself financially – taking out comprehensive travel insurance is one of the best ways, should your plans have to change at the last minute.

“With guidance changing so fast at the moment, it is advisable to check both FCO information as well as any other restrictions that may be in place in local areas before you travel. It is also worth checking the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy so that you know exactly what is and isn’t covered.”

Millions to stay home this year

The research also highlighted a significant proportion of UK adults who won’t be taking a holiday this year – with as many as 24% unable to afford one due to the negative effect on their finances caused by lockdown restrictions.

Over a quarter (28%) are avoiding international travel due to reservations over having to quarantine on return.

Among those that will go away, almost a fifth (18%) will pay for their break on a credit card.