A quarter of holidaymakers travel with no insurance, with some simply forgetting to buy cover, a survey has found.
Men (31 per cent) are much more likely than women (20 per cent) to go on trips without insurance, the survey from Norwich Union showed.
Half of those without cover decided to chance it as they were ‘only going on a short break’, while 14 per cent just forgot to get insurance.
As many as 42 per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed incorrectly reckoned that most claims were likely to be made for lost, stolen or damaged baggage.
In fact the biggest single cause of claims is for medical emergencies, which accounted for more than £23 million of the £43.5 million that Norwich Union paid out in travel insurance claims last year.
The average medical claim in 2006 was £1,200.
The survey also found that 36 per cent of those questioned either did not know whether they needed travel insurance if they had a European Health Insurance Card, or wrongly believed they did not need insurance at all if they had the card.
Luis Berraondo, travel underwriter at Norwich Union, said: ‘Holidaymakers put a lot of time and effort into their holiday, from which hotel or villa to stay in to which airline and what baggage to take with them, but our research shows that often they don’t think about the consequences both financially and emotionally, if things go wrong.
‘Clearly holidays are a time for fun and relaxation but something simple like a child falling over or a tummy bug could mean you end up footing an expensive medical bill if you haven’t taken out proper travel insurance.’
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