According to new research one in five holidaymakers are travelling abroad uninsured, which has dropped by 22% compared to last year.
But despite the decrease, a study from ABTA (the UK’s largest travel association) revealed that the number of young holidaymakers travelling without insurance is on the rise.
In fact, 33% of 16-24 year olds are travelling uninsured, a 22% improvement on last year, but with 32% of 25-34 year olds travelling without insurance, young groups are still the most at risk.
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, expressed real concern over the issue and said “Every year we come across tragic incidents of people having accidents or falling ill overseas without travel insurance and then having to pay bills which can quickly run into thousands of pounds.”
Determining factors included financial constraints, particularly for those travelling with children, but there is also confusion over the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and what it covers.
ABTA stressed that a misunderstanding of the EHIC may be partly to blame for the issues with travel insurance as it seems some youngsters do not fully understand the differences between the two.
More than one in five 16-24 year olds believe that they do not require any additional cover, if they have an EHIC.
Why do you need travel insurance as well as an EHIC?
Your EHIC and your travel insurance may go hand-in-hand when paying for particular medical bills, but an EHIC is not a form of travel insurance.
The card will only cover any non-private medical help, while your travel insurance policy will cover you for much more, including theft, loss of luggage, and private hospitals if you can’t get into a state one.
So, what does your EHIC actually cover?
An EHIC enables access to state-provided healthcare in most of Europe, but holidaymakers should be aware that it is not an alternative to travel insurance.
Jetting off soon to the likes of Spain or Turkey? Then don’t rely only on your European Health Insurance Card and remember to take out travel insurance.