Research by Saga Travel Insurance has revealed that 350,000 over 50s have travelled without insurance in the last 5 years.
With reports suggesting that the weakening of the pound is resulting in a rise in so-called ‘staycations’, the survey of almost 12,000 shows that of those not taking out cover almost eight in ten were travelling in the UK (79%) and two in five (43%) said that UK travel was the main reason for not taking out cover.
Almost half of UK trips taken without insurance (47%) included a pre-booked hotel stay and with the average hotel in the UK costing £82 per night2 the losses can add up if people find they are no longer able to travel. Combine this with ever increasing UK rail fares and people could find themselves hundreds of pounds out of pocket should they have to cancel or cut their trip short.
Other popular staycations for people citing a UK trip as the reason for not taking out insurance include coach tours (59%), river cruises (50%), trekking holidays (43%) and city breaks (41%). Many providers of UK breaks will have cancellation charges which range from the loss of a deposit to forfeiting the full cost of a trip.
Analysis of Saga claims data from 20163 shows that almost seven in ten (68%) insurance claims for UK trips were as a result of illness or hospital visits forcing, in many cases, a trip to be cancelled or curtailed with the average claim costing £728.
And whilst the NHS will cover the cost of medical treatment within the UK, it won’t pay for friends or family members to stay by their loved one’s side, or travel to be with them if they fall ill whilst away and require a stay in hospital.
Kevin McMullan, Head of Saga Travel Insurance, commented:
“Whilst it’s great to see people boosting the economy by experiencing the beauty of the UK as an alternative to going abroad, it is concerning that many think they do not need travel insurance for UK trips. Whilst medical bills will be covered by the NHS it would be wise to make sure you are covered for any pre-paid accommodation and travel costs in case of cancellation and for the costs incurred by friends and family who will want to be by your side if the worst happens and you’re admitted to a hospital many miles from home.”
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