3rd August 2015
M&S Bank is urging holidaymakers to ensure they have adequate travel insurance in place as research reveals that more than one in 10 are not planning to purchase any before their next trip.
The study from the firm also found the majority, at 43% that will purchase insurance, will look for the cheapest deal rather than the most suitable policy, while nearly a quarter, at 23% choose a policy provided by a company they trust.
Of those that are not planning to purchase travel insurance, more than a quarter said they would not be able to cover the cost of the average medical expenses claim; the most common reason for claiming on a travel insurance policy.
With the average cost of a medical expense claim totalling £1,022, and more than a quarter saying they have previously claimed against their travel insurance policy, holidaymakers could be leaving themselves exposed to significant unexpected costs.
Medical claims can also vary significantly by region. For example, while a one night stay in an ICU in Spain would cost between £1,200 and £1,800 on average, the same would cost between £10,000 and £15,000 in the USA. In addition, an air ambulance from Europe, back to the UK, can range from £15,000 to £25,000.
Of those who said they would not purchase travel insurance for their next trip, 10% believe they wouldn’t ever need to make a claim and therefore didn’t need it. The same amount felt they did not need it as they had a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Some 4% said the main reason they would not purchase travel insurance was because they felt it was too expensive.
Nearly half at 44% of those that will purchase insurance, said they would do so as soon as they booked the holiday, while nearly a quarter, at 24% said they will leave buying their policy to four weeks or less before they’re due to travel.
Paul Stokes, head of products at M&S Bank, said: “There are still a number of people who don’t purchase travel insurance, and don’t see the value in it. However, with the average medical claim costing more than £1,000, holidaymakers could incur significant unexpected costs should the worst happen.
“Travel insurance doesn’t just cover holidaymakers for the time they’re on holiday, it also provides cover in the event that they’re unable to travel, so it’s important for holidaymakers to purchase travel insurance as soon as they’ve booked their holiday.”