It’s a stereotype that the young like to take risks – but sometimes stereotypes exist because they’re true. So, perhaps it doesn’t come as a surprise that one in four millennials go on holiday without travel insurance – tut, tut.
As schoolboy (or girl) errors go, travelling without adequate insurance is pretty high on the list. Not only is insurance a safety net for when you’re abroad, it could also compensate you if your holiday is cancelled for some unforeseen circumstance.
But travel association, ABTA found that 25% of people aged 18-24 and 38% of 25-34 year olds (who should know better) chose to go abroad without cover in the last 12 months. More than one third of those that ventured away from home without insurance, didn’t think they actually needed it.
Those statistics are reinforced by results from a Consumer Intelligence survey that found 26% of over 18s they questioned hadn’t bothered with insurance whilst travelling in the last six months, particularly on short trips. Of those questioned, 14% said travel cover was simply too expensive whilst a brave (or foolhardy) 25% said they were happy to take the risk.
Part of the thinking behind travelling without insurance – especially to Europe – is the belief that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be enough. But if you’ve got one, the EHIC isn’t a substitute for cover, although you’ll get the same level of treatment as locals, it doesn’t cover the cost of private care; or getting back to the UK in a medical emergency. And it certainly won’t help if your hotel goes bust and you have nowhere to stay. We may also have to consider an alternative depending on what the Brexit negotiations bring.
However, throwing caution to the wind could be a thing of the past as Brexit looms. Even millennials – defined as being born between 1981 and 1995 and who are typically labelled as glass half full type people – might change their minds. Because of the nearly 2,000 people surveyed by Consumer Intelligence, nearly half (49%) said that they would be ‘more likely’ to buy travel insurance once Britain leaves the EU.
But what of the 14% of travellers that felt that holiday cover was too expensive? Well, chances are, they hadn’t compared the market – the average premium is just £20** for European destinations, which isn’t much to cough up for peace of mind. And it can be helpful to get cover even if you’re planning a staycation – having protection in case something goes wrong in the UK can bring peace of mind too.
Almost 500,000 holidaymakers made a claim on their travel insurance last year – receiving compensation totalling £370 million – with most of those being claims for medical treatment.
With travel insurance, it’s not a case of one size fits all – you can choose from annual or single trip policies, family or couples cover, so make sure you choose a policy that reflects you and your holiday.
It’s a big, wide world out there and it’s good to explore – but make sure someone’s got your back. Think of travel insurance as the supporting act – you won’t notice it when it’s there but you’ll be left crying into your sangria if you need it, but don’t have it. So, be adventurous but play it safe and start comparing travel insurance today.