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Perils of travelling without insurance

8th January 2013 Print

Whether people are searching for sun, sea, or snow this winter the cost of holidays can soon add up. But, as travelling costs escalate, many are choosing to cut corners on insurance and may come to regret it. Saga Travel Insurance research shows that one in ten (10%) over 50s have travelled without insurance at some point in the last five years and 20% of under 50s chose to travel without cover. Younger travellers are even more likely to take such risks - 27% of those aged 25 - 34.

The decision not to take insurance cover can be particularly costly the older you are. It is not just about losing luggage or experiencing delayed flights, the Saga research shows the most common claims happen before people leave home. Cancellation accounts for more than two fifths (42%) of all travel claims made by the over 50s and the most common reason is because they fall ill before their departure date.

The data suggests that travelling abroad without insurance could be a costly mistake. Medical expenses are the most expensive claims and on average cost £2,195. The fact that the over 50s have an average of 1.67 medical conditions means it is particularly important that they take out travel insurance to cover any pre-existing conditions that could cause them to fall ill abroad.

However, it's not just failing ill from a pre existing condition that could turn a holiday sour and break the bank. A stomach bug or ear infection could set uninsured travellers back around £200, while breaking a leg in America could cost as much £45,000.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services commented: "Not packing travel insurance can be a costly mistake - paying thousands for a cancelled holiday or medical bills is sure to wipe the smile from the most genial of globetrotters faces. So it's important to make sure everything is covered from the moment you book your holiday."