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Press release   •   Jan 01, 2015 00:01 GMT

  • Almost three-in-ten of long haul holidaymakers fail to take out travel insurance for trips to India – compared with 16 per cent for all destinations
  • India, Indian Ocean and Africa are where health, injury and theft issues arise most often
  • Under 35s are least likely to take out travel insurance
  • Average cost of long haul holiday insurance claims: £4,859  

In a new report investigating risk-taking related to popular winter sun destinations for UK tourists, research¹ by Post Office® Travel Insurance found that India and the Indian Ocean, Kenya and South Africa are the places where the highest proportion of people fail to take out travel insurance. Yet the Winter Sun Riskometer revealed that these are also the destinations where holidaymakers experienced health, injury and theft problems most often.

Whilst 16 per cent of people who had been on a long haul holiday failed to take out travel insurance for their last trip², this rose to 29 per cent for those who visited India. 22 per cent of visitors to Mauritius and Kenya, 21 per cent travelling to Sri Lanka and 19 per cent whose last long haul holiday was in South Africa also travelled without insurance cover.

Yet, the Post Office Travel Insurance Winter Sun Riskometer found that these countries top the ‘risk list’ of places where holidaymakers had problems due to illness, injury and theft most often. Almost a quarter of people (23 per cent) experienced problems in Sri Lanka – compared with five per cent in Canada and six per cent in the USA. 21 per cent of those visiting Mauritius and 18 per cent who went to India also had health, injury and theft issues.

Country No Insurance Had problems
India 29% 18%
Dubai 23% 10%
Kenya 22% 13%
Mauritius 22% 21%
Sri Lanka 21% 23%
South Africa 19% 15%
Malaysia 16% 13%
Canada 15% 5%
Thailand 13% 12%
Australia 12% 9%
Mexico 12% 10%
Egypt 11% 7%
USA 11% 6%
Caribbean 9% 7%

Fewer holidaymakers visiting the Caribbean and Egypt encountered problems that might lead to an insurance claim. At the same time, only nine per cent of Caribbean tourists failed to take out travel insurance while 11 per cent travelled to Egypt without cover.

Paul Havenhand, Head of Insurance at Post Office said: “It is worrying that the countries where holidaymakers are most likely to travel without insurance like India, Sri Lanka and Mauritius are also ones where our research found that more problems occurred that might lead to medical treatment or loss of valuable belongings.

“If you are planning a winter sun trip to an exotic destination, it is vital to ensure you are comprehensively covered to ensure that you have peace of mind when travelling far away from home. Avoid cheap travel insurance deals that could leave you exposed when problems occur.”

The Post Office Travel Insurance Winter Sun Riskometer also revealed that holidaymakers aged 18-34 are most at risk as they are least likely to take out travel insurance. A third said that they did not have travel insurance on their last long haul trip – compared with only six per cent of those aged 55 and over.

For those who were insured and went on to make a claim, the biggest single reason was illness that required medical treatment (35 per cent)³. Almost as many (31 per cent) needed treatment for accidental injury. One-in-five needed treatment for an injury caused by sports activity while 15 per cent needed to be repatriated to the UK because of illness. 15 per cent needed transporting by air ambulance – one of the most expensive claim items.

Although the average cost overall of a long haul holiday insurance claim was £4,8594, the price could escalate for individual destinations. Post Office Travel Insurance claims data for India reveals that an air ambulance to the UK could cost £80,000-£100,000, while surgery for a broken leg could cost £12,000 and treatment for gastro-enteritis could be priced between £2,000 and £4,000.

More information about the comprehensive level of cover provided by Post Office Travel Insurance can be found at or at a Post Office branch.


Notes to Editors:

1 Post Office omnibus research by Populus among 1,224 UK adults who had taken a long haul holiday (31 October-2 November 2014)

² Post Office omnibus research by Populus found that 16 per cent of the 1,224 who had been on a long haul holiday did not take out travel insurance for their last trip.

  • ³ Travel insurance claims made on long haul trips taken in the past five years by respondents to the Post Office omnibus research:
  • Treatment for illness by medical practitioner 35%

Accidental injury and treatment 31%

Travel delays causing lost paid for accommodation 28%

Theft of possessions 27%

Theft of money 24%

Illness while abroad causing hospitalisation 24%

Treatment for injury due to sports activity 20%

Holiday curtailment due to injury 20%

Theft of passport 19%

Theft of luggage in case 18%

Treatment for injury due to attack 17%

Illness requiring repatriation to UK 16%

Illness while abroad requiring air ambulance 15%

Personal liability for injury to 3rd party 14%

Holiday curtailment due to problem at home 12%

4 The claim cost of £4,859 is based on those respondents who paid themselves.

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