Holidaymakers taking a risk by travelling without insurance

Holidaymakers are being reminded to make sure they are properly insured before they head off on their summer travels.

Different levels of cover are available, with policies ranging from very cheap basic products through to ones with all the bells and whistles.

But new data suggests that one in 10 travellers does not have any insurance in place at all – and that could spell financial disaster if something goes wrong during the holiday.

Meanwhile, fewer than 20% of holidaymakers buy their insurance on the day they book their holidays. If you don’t buy your policy until nearer your departure date but then you find yourself unable to travel due to, say, bereavement, you might regret not having bought insurance at the same time as you booked your trip.

Bob Atkinson, of Moneysupermarket, which compiled the research, says: “Taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday means you’ll be protected from that moment for any eventuality – from cancellation, lost or stolen possessions and emergency medical treatment.

“Those heading on holiday need to ensure they have their travel insurance in place as soon as possible and that it will cover them in the eventuality their holiday is cancelled or disrupted.”

If you are travelling within the European Economic Area, you should take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. This does not necessarily provide free health care or healthcare of a standard you would expect from the NHS, but it will give you the same care that a resident of that country could expect.

An EHIC is no substitute for travel insurance, though – it won’t pay for an air ambulance to fly you home if you need it.