A survey of more than 2,000 British people has shown that those aged between 18 and 24 (Generation Z) are most likely to travel abroad without insurance, with 40 per cent of them going on holiday without cover.
Older Millennials aren’t much better, with 38 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds booking trips but not paying for travel insurance.
Overall, a quarter (25 per cent) of the adult population travels without insurance, which is an increase on figures from 2016 when it was 22 per cent.
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), which carried out the study, also found that 36 per cent of people who travelled without insurance simply didn’t think they needed it, while 22 per cent felt it was a risk they were willing to take.
What are the implications of having no travel insurance?
Without insurance, the cost of medical treatment, for example, can run into thousands of pounds and ABTA says it has recently seen cases of uninsured Brits having to resort to crowdfunding to help raise money for treatment or repatriation.
Recent examples include:
Ex-soldier Adam Hobbs extended his stay in Thailand but not his travel insurance. As a result, following a motorbike accident he was not covered and his family have raised over £22,000 out of the £100,000 needed to bring him home.
Craig Lindley, 35 from South Yorkshire fell ill in Thailand, as he travelled without insurance his family are raising funds to bring him back to the UK to continue his treatment. They have raised over £30,000.
Dorset Grandmother Esther Jones was taken ill on the way to Australia. She travelled without insurance and her family are trying to raise £50,000.
Gareth Harnett, 30, a builder from Kent went on a five day holiday with friends to Phuket and suffered from a heart attack. He didn’t have travel insurance. His friends are trying raise £15,000.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: “Every year we see cases of people falling into difficulty due to travelling without insurance. Often their families have to raise thousands of pounds for their treatment or repatriation and that’s why it is so worrying to see an increase in younger people travelling without insurance.
“Rather than having to resort to the kindness of strangers, holidaymakers should make sure that they have the right insurance in place. I would urge all holidaymakers to make sure they take out an insurance policy this summer.”
Susan Crown from the Travel Aware team at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We want people to enjoy their holidays but our research shows young people are risking thousands of pounds in medical bills by travelling without an insurance policy that covers them for everything they want to do abroad.
“The FCO cannot pay medical bills if you are hospitalised abroad nor can we fly you home. Take out an appropriate insurance policy and make sure you know what it covers you for. It may feel like an added expense but it’s very worthwhile if you compare it to what you could end up paying if something goes wrong on holiday.”
Four of the best travel insurance companies for young people
Even if you are in the middle of a trip, you can buy travel insurance with this company from anywhere in the world. It has been recommended by Lonely Planet and Nat Geo Adventures and Rough Guides.
Buying gap year insurance will cover you from three months up to one year anywhere in the world, whether you are volunteering, doing conservation work or having the adventure of a lifetime.
Backpacker insurance will provide you up to £2 million in medical expenses, and comes as Economy and Super Economy policies that will last 18 months.
Designed for more intrepid explorers, the Adventure Pack covers more than 40 activities including trekking to 4,500 metres, and volunteer work. The Extreme Adventure Pack covers trekking at any altitude, as well as scuba diving to 50 metres.