CHESTER, England, August 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- Average value of suitcase contents is almost £1,500 per person for a one week holiday
- Two million Britshave had their suitcase stolen or lost on holiday in the past year*
- Four million Brits have never bought travel insurance for a holiday abroad
- Just one in five has the correct level of travel insurance, says MoneySupermarket
Brits travelling abroad this summer will be packing their suitcases to the brim, but many are taking a risk on travel insurance, and heading off without adequate cover for not only their belongings but also themselves, according to MoneySupermarket.com.
The UK's number one comparison site asked British holiday makers to think about the items they pack for one week away - and what the typical value of their luggage is. The research revealed the average value of a suitcase and hand luggage combined is £1,440 per person - or a staggering £32 billion for the nation's holiday makers travelling abroad. Those living in London and the South West have the most expensive suitcase contents, admitting their holiday luggage costs £1,621 and £1,735 respectively.
Two million unlucky Brits (or four per cent) have suffered a luggage trauma having either lost their suitcase while on holiday or had it, or items from it, stolen in the past. Worryingly, eight per cent of those surveyed - or four million Brits - have never bought travel insurance for a holiday abroad leaving them not only without cover for their costly suitcases, but also with no protection for medical emergencies or other unfortunate eventualities travel insurance is designed to cover.
Bob Atkinson, travel expert at MoneySupermarket.com, said: "Whether you leave it right until the last minute, or spend weeks preparing, packing your suitcase marks the beginning of a getaway - and we Brits are stuffing our cases to bursting point. It seems there is no such thing as travelling light; as a nation we are wheeling around a staggering £32 billion worth of possessions for just one week away, including £8 billion of cash. Unsurprisingly in this age of handheld gadgets, more than eight million of us can't leave home without 'essentials' like a laptop and iPad. All of which have increased the value of our holiday luggage. Worryingly, we don't seem to have considered this when it comes to taking out adequate travel insurance."
MoneySupermarket research found people rarely travel with the correct level of insurance for their possessions. Among the holiday makers with travel insurance who knew what they were covered for, only one in five (19 per cent) had the right level for their belongings; a third (30 per cent) were underinsured - leaving themselves at risk - and half (51 per cent) were over insured. This compares to 35 per cent of those surveyed who assumed that they would be over insured.
Bob Atkinson said: "It's important to make sure you have the right level of cover in place for your holiday. Don't let the prospect of a week away distract you; if you're underinsured you could be left out of pocket if you have to make a claim for lost or stolen items.
"When taking out a travel insurance policy to ensure you're possessions are covered to an adequate level you need to bear in mind any single item limits that might be listed and whether you have anything you intend to take with you that exceeds that. Especially watch out for items such as mobile phones, cameras, jewellery and designer clothing, all of which could easily exceed a lower limits. You should look for cover that will protect expensive individual items and also pay attention to any limits on the amount of cash covered by the policy. Excess levels on travel insurance are important to look over to ensure that they are representative of the cover and aren't set too highly. Paying out a large amount upfront to put in a claim, may mean claiming isn't worthwhile.
"I recommend Brits take out cover as soon as they have booked a trip; it's not just possessions you need the right level of cover for, but cancellation and medical expenses too. Scour the small print of the insurance before you buy and remember the cheapest policy might not the best value for you so really think about what you need so you can travel with peace of mind that you, your family and your prized possessions will be covered should your holiday not turn out quite the way you planned."
MoneySupermarket.com recommends at least the following level of cover:
• £2m for medical expenses
• £1m personal liability
• £3000 cancellation - or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday
• £1500 baggage
• £250 for cash
• Policy excesses under £100
• Cover for scheduled airline failure and end supplier failure as desirable
• Delay cover (e.g. £20/hour for first 12 hours).
Notes to Editors:
 Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2,010 UK adults from 24th - 27th July 2012. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.
 The research asked respondents to think about when they pack for a holiday (a week away) and to estimate the value of items they pack in their suitcase and hand luggage:
Item Average value* Clothing and accessories (including swimwear and hats) GBP230 Shoes GBP75 Sunglasses GBP47 Sports equipment (including tennis racket, golf clubs, goggles / snorkels) GBP18 Mobile phone / blackberry GBP134 Laptop / tablet (e.g. iPad) / Kindle GBP132 Camera / video camera GBP147 iPod / MP3 player GBP45 Toiletries (shampoo / toothbrush / make up) GBP32 Sun care (sun cream / after sun) GBP17 Hair straighteners / hairdryer / other grooming accessories (e.g. mirror) GBP19 Medication / painkillers GBP13 Suitcase GBP43 Other bags (e.g. rucksacks / handbags) GBP39 Cash / travellers cheques GBP371 Purse / wallet GBP32 Books (fiction / guidebook / phrasebook) GBP14 Other items GBP32 Total value of items taken GBP1,440
* Among all who had travelled abroad in previous 12 months
The following calculations are based on the 2010 ONS population projects for 2012 there are 49,969,000 UK adults aged 18 and over.
Based on research 45% have taken a holiday abroad within the past 12 months. 45% x 49,969,000 = 22,486,050 (22.5 million).
Respondents who had taken a holiday abroad on average packed £1,440 in their suitcase and hand luggage. £1,440 x 22,486,050 = £32,379,840 (£32 billion)
86% of those who have gone at a holiday abroad went via air (departing from a UK airport) on their most recent visit. 86% x 22,486,050 = 19,338,003 (19.3 million). 19.3 million x £33 = £637 million.
4% of all respondents have ever claimed for a lost or stolen suitcase whilst on holiday. 4% x 49,969,000 = 1,998,760 (2 million)
8% of all respondents indicate they have taken a holiday abroad in the past but have never bought travel insurance. 8% x 49,969,000 = 3,828,470 (3.8 million)
 Respondents who had taken a holiday abroad on average took £371 in their suitcase or hand luggage. £371 x 22,486,050 = £8,342,324,550 (£8 billion)
36% took a Laptop, Kindle, Tablet / iPad on holiday. 36% x 22.486,050 = 8,036,080 (8 million)
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