According to new ABTA research, one in five holidaymakers are still travelling uninsured. Although the number of those travelling overseas uninsured are slightly down last year's figure of 22% travelling overseas uninsured, ABTA said there has still been a big rise in young holidaymakers travelling uninsured.
A third (33%) of 16-24 year olds are travelling uninsured, up from 22% in 2014. A third (32%) of 25-34 year olds are also travelling uninsured, putting these two age groups at most risk should something go wrong. ABTA said the high numbers could be down to confusion amongst young holidaymakers over what a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) offers. Over one in five (22%) of 16-24 year olds mistakenly believe they don't need travel insurance because they have an EHIC.
EHICs, which need to be renewed every five years, give access to emergency state medical care throughout most of Europe, but are not a substitute for travel insurance. They will not cover the cost of repatriation to the UK in an air ambulance, private medical care or additional expenses, such as accommodation for family staying in resort.
ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said "It is a real concern that we see so many travellers telling us that they have recently gone overseas without travel insurance. Every year we come across tragic incidents of people having accidents or falling ill overseas without travel insurance and then having to pay bills which can quickly run into thousands of pounds. "Often they are younger travellers and their families are left with the burden of having to pick up the bill. Whatever your financial circumstances may be, avoiding taking out travel insurance is a very false economy."
Travel insurance is essential, so be safe and ensure you purchase adequate insurance before your next holiday.