CHESTER, England, June 6, 2011 -- More than half (58 per cent) of British holidaymakers would 'staycation' without taking out travel insurance according to research from moneysupermarket.com.*
The UK's number one price comparison site found when it comes to holidaying at home, only 35 per cent of people would do so with adequate travel insurance in place. However, travel insurance becomes far more important to holidaymakers once they leave the UK mainland. Over half of those surveyed (56 per cent) would take out travel insurance when visiting the Channel Islands, and this rises to 81 per cent for those travelling to Europe. Travel insurance becomes more of a priority for those heading further afield with nine out of ten travellers taking out cover.
Bob Atkinson, travel expert at moneysupermarket.com said; "Over the last few years we have seen a number of high profile incidents such as holiday company and airline failures, strikes and the Icelandic ash clouds all impacting travellers. It is therefore essential to make sure you have adequate travel insurance in place to cover you for all eventualities.
"It may seem a waste of time having travel insurance for holidays within the UK, but you can still be caught out by events beyond your control. For example, during the recent ash cloud disruption, several internal flights between UK airports were cancelled. With many annual travel insurance policies including UK travel as standard it can be worthwhile, especially if you travel regularly. It is also important not to get caught out when travelling to the Channel Isles, as you do not get free NHS care on the islands and a good policy is essential if you fall ill.
"If you are travelling further afield, the medical cover provided by travel insurance is essential as any medical emergency could be extremely costly. With policies typically including more than 1 million pounds Sterling of medical expenses it is very unwise to travel without cover in place. It is quick and easy to shop around using moneysupermarket.com to find the right travel insurance policy. You should choose the best value cover, which may not necessarily be the cheapest option."
moneysupermarket.com research also found some travellers view European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) as an alternative to having a travel insurance policy to cover their trip, even when travelling outside of the EU! EHICs entitle the holder to the same level of free medical care as is provided to nationals of the European country you're visiting. They provide no cover for loss, theft or damage of your luggage or personal belongings and also don't come with benefits such as personal liability cover.
Bob Atkinson continued; ""Worryingly, some of us will rely on an EHIC card for our insurance cover. While this helps out towards some of the medical costs, it is not a replacement for a travel insurance policy and will leave many nursing not only their health but a hefty bill. I recommend taking out a suitable travel insurance policy as well as an EHIC when travelling in EU countries. Our research showed three per cent of people travelling worldwide wouldn't take out travel insurance because they believed an EHIC would cover them, despite it being useless if you're heading for a destination outside the EU. This just highlights the need to ensure that even if you have an EHIC it is still vital to have appropriate travel insurance for your holiday destination."
moneysupemarket.com recommends the following levels of cover:
- 2m pounds Sterling for medical expenses
- 1m pounds Sterling personal liability
- 3000 pounds Sterling cancellation - or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday
- 1500 pounds Sterling baggage
- 250 pounds Sterling for cash
- Policy excesses under 100 pounds Sterling
- Cover for scheduled airline failure and end supplier failure as desirable
- Delay cover (e.g. 20 pounds Sterling/hour for first 12 hours).
Notes to editors:
*Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,031 UK adults aged 18+ from 27th May – 31st May 2011. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.
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