So-called millennials are most likely to put themselves at risk of large medical bills by not taking out travel insurance, new research out today (Thursday) reveals.
Those aged between 18-34 who holidayed abroad in the past 12 months are the least likely of all age groups to take out cover, with almost a third (31%) taking a trip abroad uninsured.
Only 16% of holidaymakers in this age range strongly agreed that travel insurance is important for any holiday regardless of whether it is abroad or in the UK, far below the national average of 26%, according to the Abta study.
The top reason for not buying travel insurance among younger people who had travelled without it is the belief that they do not need it. This was true for almost half (46%) of 18-34 year olds, the poll of 2,031 people found.
Despite the wide reporting of incidents abroad which leave travellers with huge medical bills, 38% of 18-34 year olds stated it was a risk they were prepared to take, while one in five (22%) said they forgot to buy insurance.
Confusion about European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) remains among 18-34 year olds. A quarter of those who had travelled now think they don’t need insurance in Europe if they have an EHIC compared to 22% in a similar survey last year.
They are also the most likely of age groups to think travel insurance is unnecessary because the government will pay for their treatment if they become ill abroad – with one in ten (10%) expecting it would do so.
More generally, the figures show that 22% of people who have travelled abroad in the past year did so without travel insurance. The findings prompted Abta to encourage all consumers to take out insurance at the time of booking their holiday.
This means they are covered should they need to cancel before they travel for reasons such as family bereavement, pregnancy or jury service, avoiding costly cancellation fees.
Abta chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said: “As we head into the summer season, it is worrying to see younger people continuing to travel abroad without appropriate insurance, as well as a growing lack of awareness about the function of an EHIC card.
“Every year, we see cases of young people falling into difficulty after travelling without insurance. The risks being undertaken are great, and the costs of not being insured could be many thousands of pounds.”