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Think you don’t need travel insurance? Think again. Our recent survey revealed that travel insurance claims are surprisingly common. From poolside slips and sprained wrists to trip cancellation and cash loss, it’s important to have the right travel cover in place before you jet off. 

Travel insurance is one of the ultimate it-will-never-happen-to-me products. After all, the unexpected is something that always happens to other people. (Until it happens to you.) But those who throw caution to the wind and jet off without travel insurance may be more likely than they think to find themselves out of pocket.

4.5% of travellers make a claim

Recently we invited our readers to complete a survey about their holiday habits and travel tales. The results revealed that after buying their most recent travel insurance policy, 4.5% of globetrotters made a claim.

Now, 4.5% may not sound like much. But that figure suggests that for every twenty people who go on holiday, one will encounter a problem that threatens to leave a crater in their bank balance. Travel insurance claims routinely run into hundreds, even thousands, of pounds.

Is it worth the risk? You can pick up travel insurance for less than a week’s worth of morning mochas. Oh and World First policies have just a £50 excess.

What are travellers claiming for?

Here’s a rundown of the most common travel insurance claims, according to our 2017 survey.

1. Trip cancellation or abandonment

40% of claims related to trip cancellation or abandonment. The unfortunate truth is that holidays are cancelled every day, for a long and varied list of reasons. Your washing machine floods your kitchen the night before you are due to leave for the airport. Your partner breaks his leg playing football. Your car is stolen. Life, as they say, is full of surprises - not all of them pleasant.

That could leave you paying for a holiday you didn’t even take. For example, it's unlikely that you will be able to recover the cost of accommodation and flights if you cancel at the last minute. Then there’s the cost of car hire, transfers and any activities you had planned for your getaway. A good travel insurance policy will come with cancellation cover that reimburses you for the cost of your holiday if you are forced to pull the plug at the eleventh hour.

2. Medical expenses

36% of claims related to medical expenses. Most countries don’t offer free healthcare like you get in the UK. You could be severely out of pocket if you need treatment while you’re away. ‘What about the EHIC?’ we hear you cry. That’s your pass to free foreign medical treatment, isn’t it?

Not quite. The European Health Insurance Card only entitles you to the same level of subsidised medical care as the residents of the country you are visiting receive. In most countries, non-life threatening injuries will not be covered by your EHIC. And of course the EHIC only covers travel in Europe. Beyond that it’s useless.

There’s simply no substitute for good travel insurance. And World First policies cover you for up to £10 million worth of medical expenses.

>> Are you one of the 10% who could be at risk of losing £100,000 next holiday?

3. Loss of money or possessions

14% of claims related to the loss or theft of money or possessions. It’s natural to let your guard down when you are on holiday. After all, half the reason you have taken a break in the first place is to shift down a gear and relax. Unfortunately that can lead to mishaps - such as accidentally leaving your tablet on the restaurant table or inadvertently showcasing that wad of Euros in your wallet to local pickpockets. The type of pickpockets who can spot tourists from a thousand paces.

The possessions most commonly claimed for in our survey were clothes, electrical items and money. But with a good travel insurance policy, there’s no reason the loss or theft of your possessions should ruin your holiday. Yes, it’s frustrating. Yes, it's inconvenient. But if you take the necessary precautions, most decent travel insurers will reimburse you for the cost of your baggage, possessions and gadgets.

4. Travel delay and missed departure

10% of claims related to travel delay or missed departure. Just as with cancellation, you could get held up on the way to your departure point for any number of reasons. Maybe your train got held at a red light due to an accident. Or your airport transfer was late. Or perhaps your house alarm malfunctioned and wouldn’t stop wailing after you tried to set it.

The cost of replacement transport could be huge - especially at the last minute. With a good travel insurance policy, you’re covered.

Don’t leave it to chance...

Chances are that your sojourn will be the fun and rejuvenating break you want it to be. The majority of getaways pass without a hitch (the dodgy music at the poolside bar doesn’t count). But unexpected mishaps aren’t always as unexpected as you’d like to think, as our survey results show. Spending a few pounds on a reliable travel insurance policy protects your bank balance and gives you the peace of mind you need to travel in confidence. Now, which way is the airport?

Browse travel insurance policies at World-First.co.uk.

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