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Published on : Thursday, May 19, 2016
Millennials1 are most likely to put themselves at risk of sky high medical bills by not taking out travel insurance, according to new research by ABTA – The Travel Association. People aged 18- 34 who had holidayed abroad in the past 12 months are the least likely of all age groups to take out cover, with 31% taking a trip abroad uninsured2. Worryingly, only 16% of 18-34 year old holidaymakers strongly agreed that travel insurance is important for any holiday (regardless of whether it is abroad or in the UK), far below the national average of 26%.
The top reason for not buying travel insurance among younger people who had travelled without it is the belief that they don’t need it, this was true for almost half (46%) of 18-34 year olds. Despite the wide reporting of incidents abroad which leave travellers with huge medical bills, 38% of 18-34 year olds stated it was a risk they were prepared to take, while one in five (22%) said they forgot to buy insurance.
Confusion about European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) remains among 18-34 year olds, a quarter of those who had travelled (25%) now think they don’t need insurance in Europe when travelling with an EHIC compared to 22% in a similar survey last year3. They are also the most likely of age groups to think travel insurance is unnecessary because the UK Government will pay for their treatment if they become ill abroad – with one in ten (10%) expecting it would do so.
More generally, the figures2 show that 22% of people who have travelled abroad in the past year did so without travel insurance. Across Britain, there is better understanding of the role of the Government, only 7% of people think the UK Government will pay for treatment abroad and 16% think they don’t need insurance in Europe if they have an EHIC card. These figures were 11% and 14% in a similar survey3 last year.
Additionally, ABTA is encouraging all consumers to take out insurance at the time of booking their holiday. This means they are covered should they need to cancel before they travel, (for reasons such as family bereavement, pregnancy or jury service) avoiding costly cancellation fees.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said, “As we head into the summer season, it is worrying to see younger people continuing to travel abroad without appropriate insurance, as well as a growing lack of awareness about the function of an EHIC card. Every year, we see cases of young people falling into difficulty after travelling without insurance. The risks being undertaken are great, and the costs of not being insured could be many thousands of pounds.”