The number of people going abroad for their holidays has grown from 55% to 57% according to the ABTA Holiday Habits report of 2017. Indeed, holidays have become less of a luxury and more of a lifestyle option. But are we forgetting something? Are we taking out travel insurance before we go, and if so, what exactly does it cover? With work accident solicitor group, True Solicitors, we take a look at the facts.
Why do some people skip insurance?
ABTA reported that 25% of people going on holiday didn’t take out insurance in the months leading up to May 2017. This is 3% more than May 2016’s data. However, this differed between age ranges but was commonly problematic among young people travelling abroad.
31% of 18-24-year-olds went abroad without insurance in May 2016. This figure increased by 9% in the following year. 25-34-year-olds were also guilty of this risky move, with 31% of jet-setters not insured in 2016 — growing to 38% in 2017.
35-44-year-olds showed a decrease in the number of people risking going abroad without insurance between 2016 and 2017. However, this drop was marginal, down to 25% from 26%. For people aged 45-54, 20% of travelers weren’t insured for their trip in 2016, a figure that grew by 3% in 2017. Those aged 55 and over remained the same over the two years, with just 14% not taking out insurance before their trip.
So, why are so many opting to forgo insurance when heading on holiday? 36% said that they didn’t think that they needed it. Although refusing to buy insurance will have short-term financial benefits, the savings made don’t compare to the detrimental financial situation you could be in if something was to go wrong abroad. Despite this, 22% said that it was a risk they were willing to take.
Many people think that if they’re travelling within Europe, all they need is a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). However, this is not the case, as EHIC is only valid for medical necessities within the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA) in state hospitals. It has been advised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that all people wishing to travel outside of their country should also have comprehensive travel insurance as this will likely cover repatriation in the case of a medical emergency.
The future of EHIC is hazy too, in the run up to Brexit. What we do know is that those who are officially living abroad — whether this is to work or study on the day the UK officially leaves the EU — their card will continue to prove eligibility for the same state-funded healthcare as the citizens of the country receive.
Important factors regarding travel insurance
The basic grounding of insurance is for it to cover any unforeseen events that might happen before or upon reaching your destination. It’s important that you purchase your insurance as soon as you book your holiday, as it can cover potential cancellations and pre-trip illnesses — it’s a small financial decision that can save you a fortune in the long run.
Remember to consider how different companies offer different levels of coverage, and be sure to review any insurance’s policies prior to purchase. It is unlikely that they will cover high-risk activities. It’s important to consider what type of holiday you’re going on — if it’s active like skiing, you must inform your insurer to get the best cover.
Have a look at the small print too. For example, if you’ve consumed alcohol and need medical attention some insurance companies will reject your claim — in extreme cases, they could seek out court rulings and will supply the court with medical records that say you had alcohol in your blood. It’s important to remember that in hot countries, your body will absorb alcohol more easily too.
In the event of theft, you will need to have solid evidence to support your claim.
Be aware that if your travel company goes bust while you’re away, your cover will be void. However, when it comes to the airline going out of business, you may be covered but could be required to pay an extra premium.
Companies can waive the need to cover for natural disasters or terrorist acts only in exceptional circumstances.
Frequent injuries abroad
Research shows that natural causes, such as heart attacks, are responsible for 74%-80% deaths on holiday. However, the same source found that 18-24% occur due to accidents and 2% from infectious diseases. Two thirds of holidaymakers worry about getting sick when they’re away, but it’s inevitable when results show that one in 20 trips can include sickness or injury.
Falls, trips, and slips are among the most frequent injury causes when abroad. Causes include uneven carpets or ill-maintained flooring. Take note of signs to ensure you’re not at risk of injury through slippery or uneven floors.
Driving on the left in the UK can mean difficulties adapting to the roads abroad. You might be trying to follow directions or the GPS on your phone — but you must stay alert and not get distracted to avoid any type of road traffic accident.
You can still take part in sports activities on holiday, but make sure to be sensible with the risks If you have concerns, you must ask the organisers as high risk activities can invalidate any insurance policies if you’re not properly protected.
Injuries can be an expensive event, with the average medical claim coming to around £914. However, for 65-74-year olds, this cost increases to £971.63. One example provided by the FCO stated that one stomach bug infection that was treated in a Californian hospital cost £100,000, including return flights back home.
Nearly half (48%) of people don’t realise that they would be responsible for covering their own medical bills abroad without insurance. 78% said that they wouldn’t be able to pay just £10,000 to cover the costs that could present themselves.
It’s critical that, before heading overseas, you understand the value of taking out insurance and what it covers you for. With Brexit just around the corner, and the fate of the EHIC unknown, will we see an increase in the number of people taking out insurance?
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have found this post useful.
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Enjoy your Summer holidays!
*This is a collaborative post