Millions risk foreign travel without insuranceTravel insurance is overlooked by holidaymakers

04 June 2011

TRavel insurance: Beach chairs and umbrellas

Being on holiday should be relaxing. Travel insurance will cover you if things go wrong while you're away

Research from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has found that millions of people risk travelling abroad without insurance.

An estimated 12 million Brits are planning to visit friends and family this year, yet many will not take out travel insurance, which could prove crucial if they suffer illness or injury, or financial loss, such as theft of baggage. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office found that nearly half of all young people did not buy travel insurance when visiting friends and relatives abroad. Almost two fifths of those visiting friends and relatives in Africa did not purchase insurance, while less than half of those visiting people in Asia bothered with travel insurance. 

Which? Best Buy travel insurance a must

Given the relatively low cost of cover, the risk of not taking out travel insurance is a risky strategy. Which? Best Buy single trip travel insurance for worldwide trips starts from just £19, while annual worldwide cover can be obtained from as little as £37. With the potential cost of medical treatment and repatriation running to millions of pounds, insurance is a must for all travellers.  

Reducing the risk of a problem

Commenting on the dangers of not getting travel insurance minister for consular affairs Jeremy Browne said: 'With over 5 million Britons living abroad, people are increasingly making the most of opportunities to visit their loved ones across the world. However, it’s important to understand that staying in someone’s home does not make you exempt from encountering serious problems. Take the same steps before you go as you would for any other holiday, such as taking out travel insurance and doing some pre-trip research, to ensure you are prepared if something does go wrong.'

pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.

Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.

Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what's going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.