Is travel insurance really necessary?

Streeter Seidell, ComedianThe often thorny issue of travel insurance reared its head again this week after a Foreign and Commonwealth Office report has shown that a huge number of people flying abroad will do so this year without adequate insurance. The problem arises due to people flying out to visit family members who live overseas and who think since they will be staying with friends and family that insurance is not necessary. It perhaps goes without saying that travellers staying in the UK for their holidays are even less likely to purchase travel insurance.

It can certainly be an unwelcome additional cost to any holiday, at a time when money is tight and given it is a price paid in the hope that the service it provides will not be required, many people who stay in the UK consider travel insurance unnecessary. However, on the back of the Foreign Office report, online finance site, Moneysupermarket, conducted a survey of UK staycationers, which shows 25% will not have appropriate travel insurance cover. So why is it necessary for taking a short break in the UK? Well, domestic flight services are still subject to the same travel restrictions as long haul carriers and just as liable to be affected by volcanic ash clouds and other unforeseen circumstances.

According to the Moneysupermarket survey, over 80% of travellers will have travel insurance for foreign holidays, while just 56% opt to take out insurance when visiting the Channel Islands. Quite apart from the flights taken to get there, Moneysupermarket travel expert, Bob Atkinson, urges travellers to remember that there is no free NHS service on the islands and so falling ill whilst on holiday can be a costly business. There is clearly some confusion and discontentment behind the whole issue of travel insurance and so perhaps the best bet for those who wish to make the greatest savings is to take the family by car to local UK hotspots instead.

Image: Streeter Seidell, Comedian by Zach Klein, on Flickr

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