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Price over protection: A quarter of care-free Brits admit holidaying abroad without insurance

Britons are putting price over protection when jetting off on their holidays in the sun with many admitting they skip on taking out insurance cover to lower the cost of their break.

  • 18-24s the most care-free with 42% holidaying without cover
  • A third admit to simply buying ‘cheapest’ insurance available
  • Londoners most likely to seek bargains over hotels and insurance
  • Solicitor says costs could prove ‘significantly higher’ should anything go wrong

A YouGov survey of British holidaymakers has revealed surprisingly common care free attitudes towards taking cover when travelling abroad, despite the serious possible consequences should anything go wrong.

Almost a quarter of adults (23 per cent) admitted to having holidayed abroad without any insurance in place, whilst a third of people said they simply choose to book the cheapest cover they can find.

Around one in 10 (9%) people admitted cutting insurance from their holiday package abroad completely simply to lower the cost of their break.

The survey, which questioned more than 2,000 people, was commissioned by travel litigation specialists Hudgell Solicitors to examine the attitudes of British holidaymakers.

It also revealed;

  • 57% of holidaymakers book out of prime holiday season in search of a bargain
  • 56% of people say they source their own flights and accommodation to reduce holiday costs
  • 33% of people who have been abroad and purchased travel insurance buy the ‘cheapest possible’ holiday insurance
  • 21% of holidaymakers are happy to book lower standard accommodation to lessen the cost of a holiday

It comes as many have fallen foul of loopholes in regulations with regards to cover when booking package holidays abroad, leaving them without any means of compensation when holidays are not as advertised, or should they suffer injury or illness.

New regulations are to be come into force on July 1 which will offer holidaymakers greater protection, but solicitor Paul McClorry, a specialist in representing people in holiday compensation claims, says the attitudes revealed in the survey make worrying reading.

“It has been quite shocking to see the number of people who are prepared to take the risk of travelling to foreign countries without the relevant insurance in place, or without knowing the details of their holiday packages.

“It is clear the motivation is saving pennies and perhaps saving more to spend on the holiday itself, but whilst that is understandable, it is very risky and the cost, both physically and financially, if something goes wrong can be huge.

“Anybody who has suffered a serious injury abroad and has needed medical care, but hasn’t had insurance in place, will know how significant the consequences can be, so checking you have insurance in place that is tailored to your needs should be a priority.

“This is particularly important in the current climate where many people book holidays themselves online, rather than using a specialist tour operator.

“Too many people assume because there is some form of insurance in place that the website they book through covers everything, but often that is not the case.

“You can end up with a number of contracts and dealing directly with foreign hotel owners or companies can prove very difficult. Ultimately, in some circumstances, it can mean that you are significantly worse off. The best advice is to pay for the right protection and make sure you check the small print.”

Survey highlights generational gap over attitudes to holiday protection

The survey results not only revealed difference in attitudes towards holiday precautions between younger and older generations, but also across British regions.

It revealed 42 per cent of 18-24 year-olds had holidayed without any insurance compared to just 13 per cent of over 55s.

Almost half (45 per cent) of 18-24-year-olds admitted to also booking the cheapest holiday insurance when they did arrange cover, rather than checking the detail to ensure it was relevant to their break (17 per cent).

Only around one in five (22 per cent) of over 55s admitted to doing the same.

Despite boasting the highest average salaries in the UK, London residents were shown to be the most penny-pinching of all regions.

The capital has the highest percentage of people who admit having skipped on insurance (30 per cent), booked lower standard accommodation to reduce costs (29 per cent) or bought the cheapest insurance they could find (41 per cent).

People in the east of England were found to be one of the most careful, with 69 per cent of people saying they always ensure insurance is in place and 75 per cent researching the local customs and practices of their holiday destination in advance.

Holidaymakers from Yorkshire and the Humber also take a precautionary approach, with 65 per cent always travelling with insurance and 76 per cent ensuring they were aware of local customs before setting off. Mr McClorry added:

“It is perhaps not surprising to see that the over 55s are much more precautious with regards to holiday booking. They are a generation who have had to go through booking with specialist tour operators for many years, and are perhaps more wary of the many new online websites and what exactly you get for your money.

“Younger generations are much more care free, but are also the people who are perhaps more likely to choose adventure and sporting holidays, so in reality, this age group should be the ones who are taking the greatest care over the cover they have.”

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