Almost half (48%) of UK parents fail to take out travel insurance when going on holiday, new research reveals.

This comes despite more than a third (37%) of parents experiencing a child falling ill or suffering an injury while on a break.

Furthermore, more than a quarter of parents have cancelled or considered cancelling a family holiday because their child was unwell, according to a poll of 2,000 parents for Co-op Insurance.

Highlighting the financial impact that this can have, the average travel insurance claim for an unwell child stands at £606, with some claims reaching into the thousands.

Of those parents who have been caught short on holiday, a third (33%) had to pay for their child’s treatment on a credit card, and a further third (32%) had to dip into their savings.

In terms of the most common ailments parents say their children suffer on holiday, stomach bugs, flu and chickenpox top the list of illnesses while cuts, insect bites, and bruises are the most common injuries suffered by children on holiday.

Further illnesses and injuries contracted by children on holiday include allergic reactions (9%), concussion (6%) and Jellyfish stings (4%).

The company is offering free travel insurance to children under the age of 18 travelling with an adult from June 1 until September 30.

Colin Butler, Co-op head of travel insurance, said: “It’s alarming that so many families are going on holiday without having travel insurance in place.

“Illnesses and injuries, particularly for children, can be unpredictable and as a result, unexpected medical bills can be very expensive.”