YouGov research commissioned by travel insurance specialist Aquarium Software has revealed people in the West Midlands are least likely to make a claim.

The firm found four fifths (81%) of travellers from the region have never claimed on travel insurance.

That figure is 12% higher than the national average of 69%, with the closest other region being the North West, where 74% have never claimed.

Aquarium says the figures have real ramifications for the travel insurance sector.

The firm said having so many travellers never claiming may be a positive for policy underwriters, but begs the question why the industry has a reputation of denying claims based on small print.

Mark Colonnese, Aquarium software director, said: “While these figures look good news for the industry on the face of it, scratch the surface and they also expose the future challenges.

“With so few people ever making a claim, it is easy to understand why there is only a 51% take-up. That leaves 49% of us taking a big risk with no cover.

“The industry must get better at communicating the value of cover and improving access for consumers needing help overseas or wishing to make a claim.

“With the news full of people stranded abroad without adequate insurance cover, travel insurance is undoubtedly a must that some might be mistakenly tempted to forgo in lean economic times.

“The very latest travel insurance technology and mobile portals will give the industry the tools in needs to improve client engagement.

“It will remove those small print problems that in turn will assist the market to realise its potential, and start to change the minds of the 46% of us who perceive travel insurance as a waste of time.”

Aquarium says the cost of repatriating a holidaymaker from halfway around the world can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds meaning the cost of cover is worth it should the worst happen.

And it added the risk for the sector must be that given so few ever claim, the 51% of the UK travelling population may choose to neglect travel insurance unless the industry can demonstrate its true value.