Nearly 500,000 holidaymakers got help when they needed it most last year, as figures reveal that a record £365 million was paid out in travel insurance claims. It’s a mammoth figure and the highest since 2010 according to number crunchers at the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

More than half of claims were for medical expenses and repatriation, and not surprisingly, these made up the biggest payouts – totalling a whopping £199 million – an average of £1,300 per claim.

The average claim for cancelled holidays came to £816 and compensation for anyone unlucky enough to lose their luggage worked out at an average of £204.

Of course, most of us would rather not have to make a claim – afterall, holidays should be fun-filled and carefree. Sadly though, and as the ABI statistics show, that doesn’t always happen. Nevertheless, in the 12 months to May 2017, around one in ten people still decided to travel abroad without travel insurance.

But according to the ABI, the average annual travel insurance policy last year cost just a measly £33 (excluding IPT) – which is probably less than those ‘can’t miss me on the beach’ swim trunks you bought or that bikini you had to have in three colours. And insurance isn’t just for jet-setters, you can buy single trip policies if you only manage to get away once in a blue moon. It could also pay to get insurance for your staycation – things can go wrong in the UK too.

If you’re travelling within Europe, don’t make the mistake of thinking that an EHIC (European health insurance card) will be enough to get you by. An EHIC only entitles you to the same medical care as locals – and not all of it will be free as it is in the UK.

Make sure that whatever policy you buy is fit for purpose – it’s your safety net – after all, you wouldn’t do a bungee jump without making sure the cord was attached, would you? It’s also less about money and more about finding a policy that’s right for you and your holiday – whether that means finding cover for the whole family, or making sure you read the T&Cs when it comes to pre-existing medical conditions (if you have any).