According to a new report from travel association ABTA, one in five people going on holiday from the UK do so without taking out any form of travel insurance before they leave the country.
There are several factors behind a travellers decision to not take out travel insurance. One is cost, and the fact people resent paying for something they will most likely not need, preferring to have extra spending money instead.
Others just don’t understand the risk, and these are the people who need educating so they are not left with a huge bill.
An ABTA survey found that one in six people in the UK believed that the government would pay for any medical treatment they required on holiday, a gross misunderstanding of the system and one that could leave them with extremely expensive bills to pay.
Just two days in intensive care in most European countries would set someone without travel insurance back around £5,000 whilst an operation on a broken wrist in the USA could cost between £20,000 and £30,000.
Many people simply cannot afford to pay such vast sums and often countries will not release you from their country until you have paid the bill, leaving you as a prisoner until you can raise the funds.
ABTAs survey also showed that around 12 per cent of British travellers had had to make a claim in the last 5 years, and a quarter of those claims were for at least £500 with many for much much more.