Quarter of all travel claims made in 2016 were for holidays in Spain, with cancellation the most common problem

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The most common reason for making a travel insurance claim in 2016 was cancellation, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of claims, while almost a quarter of all travel insurance claims made by British holidaymakers last year were for holidays in Spain.

Direct Line, which has released the findings, has also revealed that one in eight of the claims made in 2016 exceeded £1,000.

Extrapolating data for 2015 and 2016 from its own travel insurance department, Line has created an overall UK market data picture which also found that travel claims rose by more than 22,000 last year. The insurer has also found that exotic destinations such as Western Africa (a 29% increase) and the Caribbean (a 15% increase) both saw a significant rise in volume of travel insurance claims.

The insurance company has said that 600,000 plus travel insurance claims were made by British holidaymakers last year. 150,000 were for holidays in Spain, almost three times more than the United States and France, the second and third most frequent sources of holiday claims, totalling over £75 million.

After cancellation (nearly 40% of claims), the next two most common claims were for medical (25%) and baggage (7%).

Tom Bishop, head of travel insurance at Direct Line said: “With over 70 million trips made last year alone, travel continues to be a passion for Brits as we jet off to rest, relax and enjoy ourselves.

“It is not surprising to see tourist hotspots such as Spain, the United States and France appearing as the most popular destinations, and shows that holidaymakers are just as likely to fall unwell, loose baggage or need to cancel their holiday whether they are hoping over the pond or just crossing the channel.”

Bishop added that it was “shocking” to find out that despite cancellation being the most common travel insurance claim amongst Brits, many holidaymakers left buying travel insurance to the last minute.

“Losing out on a holiday is bad enough, but at least by taking out comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking a trip there doesn’t need to be a financial loss too,” he said.

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk