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A survey from Moneyfacts has revealed that 53% of travellers have gone on holiday without taking out travel insurance, leaving them vulnerable to not just medical expenses, but also emergency travel and lost luggage costs.
The recently conducted survey shows that 43% of travellers have gone on holiday without travel insurance within the UK, while 10% have made the risky decision to go overseas without cover. Charlotte Nelson, spokesperson at Moneyfacts, said: "Holidaymakers are always on the lookout for a good deal, but planning a getaway without travel insurance can be a false economy.
"Many assume that with a free National Health Service, travel insurance for holidays in the UK is unnecessary. However, a policy can cover much more than just medical expenses; it includes belongings such as cameras and tablets, not to mention if your trip gets cut short.
"Interestingly, 15% of those who have used single trip travel insurance have also gone overseas without any insurance at all. This is a significant risk as, if things go wrong, the cost can quickly mount up. Those taking more than one holiday a year should perhaps consider an annual policy, as this will cover trips both abroad and in the UK."
The survey further found that 31% of respondents paid between £51 and £100 for their last travel insurance policy, with those paying over £100 close behind at 30.5%. Meanwhile, 29% paid between £21 and £50, leaving 10.5% who paid just £1 to £20.
As expected, there were more people who'd taken out single trip cover (21%) and only paid up to £20, compared to 4% who had taken out annual insurance for the same price limit. However, a surprising 25% of people still paid more than £100 for single trip cover. Clearly, it's important to shop around.
Charlotte added: "Picking out a policy shouldn't be a burden on your time, [however,] as the majority of survey respondents (56%) take less than an hour to pick a travel insurance policy. Equally, customers looking for a deal need to be aware that simply going for the cheapest plan is not always the best option, as they could potentially be overlooking useful benefits. It would be wise to think very carefully about choosing a comprehensive package, and how much they are prepared to pay for protection in the event of a crisis."
Of the few people that said they had never bought travel insurance (6% of respondents), the majority clarified that this was because their travel insurance was included in their current account. However, even if your current account provider offers complimentary travel insurance, make sure it covers everything you need it to before you go away – you wouldn't want to get stranded in the US only to find that your free travel insurance policy only covers European destinations.
To help people decide on the best travel insurance policy for them, each year Moneyfacts rates travel insurance deals on all features aside from cost. "The Moneyfacts Travel Insurance Star Ratings is a useful tool that allows customers to quickly see the most complete products with the most features and competitive limits, helping them to see which policy best suits their needs," said Charlotte.
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