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What happens in Kavos… could be a huge financial hangover

24 June 2014
  • Over half (51%) of 18 to 24 year old holidaymakers go abroad without travel insurance
  • 18 to 24 year old holidaymakers are most likely to need medical attention, lose their baggage and face delayed or cancelled flights
  • On average young travellers pack their suitcases with over £700 worth of clothes and accessories, toiletries and electronic gadgets

New research revealed today, shows that hundreds of 18 to 24 year old holidaymakers travelling abroad could be leaving themselves thousands of pounds out of pocket as a result of large medical bills, lost baggage or cancelled flights.

The survey, commissioned by Travel Insurance, asked over 1,350 people who had holidayed abroad about their experiences.  More respondents aged 18 to 24 than in any other age group said that they needed medical attention while abroad or had faced a delayed or cancelled flight.   The survey found that compared with the population as a whole, 18 to 24 year old holiday makers were:

  • three times more likely to spend at least one night in hospital;
  • more than twice as likely to get food poisoning;
  • nearly twice as likely to have their baggage lost by the airline;
  • more than twice as likely to try an adventurous activity like scuba diving, parasailing, bungee jumping or water skiing.

On average young holiday makers estimate their holiday luggage contains £713 worth of clothing and accessories, toiletries and electronics.  But, less than half (49%) of this age group said that they usually buy travel insurance when they holiday abroad.  Of those who don’t usually buy insurance, 45% said that they thought that it was too expensive while 41% just couldn’t be bothered.

Caroline Lloyd from Travel Insurance commented, “Every year, thousands of young adults head abroad for a holiday with many tour operators targeting this age group with ‘party destination’ clubbing holidays promising 24 hour bars or adventure holidays offering a range of thrilling experiences.  So, it’s perhaps not surprising that more 18 to 24 year olds than any other age group tend to need medical attention while on holiday. But worryingly, our survey suggests that without travel insurance, many are running the risk of landing themselves with a large medical bill, or other unwelcome costs.

“Travel insurance covers you against a range of events including the cost of medical expenses if you have an accident or fall ill while abroad, the loss or theft of your luggage or your holiday being cancelled as a result of unforeseen circumstances.  The idea that it’s too expensive is surprising given that you can buy cover for less than £20.*

“However, we recommend that people don’t just buy on price alone.  There’s a wide variation in the cover provided so, it’s important to check the policy wording against your needs.  For example, if you are planning on scuba-diving or thinking about hiring a moped or scooter while you are away, check that these activities are covered.  If they aren’t and you have an accident while undertaking them, you won’t be covered.

“Also, following a spate of alcohol-related accident claims in recent years, most insurers have clauses which exclude cover for reckless behaviour - invalidating claims if medical treatment is required as a result of excessive alcohol consumption or non-prescription drugs.  While insurers don’t want to stop you enjoying your holiday, they generally won’t cover any medical claims arising because you have drunk so much alcohol that your judgement is seriously impaired and you act recklessly.”

Caroline Lloyd concluded, “By using a price comparison site you can quickly and easily compare a wide range of travel policies – to help ensure that you find the right cover at the right price.  For example, by using, a 23 year old holidaymaker can find a worldwide, two-week, single trip policy with £10m of medical cover and £1,000 of baggage cover from just £17.45.**”


Notes to editors:

* Average of ten cheapest quotes returned for a single-trip, worldwide policy for a 23 year old going on a two-week holiday in July 2014 was £19.18.

** Super Economy. £17.45 premium with £10 million medical cover (£200 excess), £1,000 cancellation cover (£200 excess), and £1,000 baggage cover (£200 excess)