Over a third of Brits who holiday in Europe do not take out travel insurance, according to Benenden.
The mutual insurance company has also found that a quarter of the British public (23%) rely on “blind optimism” rather than travel insurance to protect them when they travel around the world.
The research also showed that the younger you are, the less likely you are to take out travel insurance. 28% of those aged 18-24 do not take out insurance at all. In addition, many members of the British public don’t seem to know that carrying a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) alongside a travel insurance policy would help to limit medical costs when travelling in Europe if emergency treatment is needed. 30% of people questioned admitted to having no idea what the EHIC is and, of the 42% of people who said they carry the card, most of them do not know where it’s valid or what it covers.
10% of respondents admitted previously needing hospital treatment abroad, with men the riskier sex – 13% of them have needed to go to hospital, compared to 7% of women.
An optimistic 40% of people believe that even if require medical care in Europe you can get back the cost of treatment on the NHS in the UK at a later date even if you don’t hold an EHIC card or travel insurance.
Neil McCallum, travel insurance manager at Benenden said that the EHIC and a travel insurance policy were highly recommended for UK residents travelling in Europe.
“Carrying both insurance and an EHIC could save thousands, with figures from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office reporting that surgery for a broken leg can cost more than £6,000; or an air ambulance £25,000”.