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Gen X Most Likely to Ditch Travel Insurance for Next Trip, Study Reveals

Gen X, those born between 1965 and 1980, are the most likely to take the risk of travelling without travel insurance, according to a study by Money Expert, a financial comparison site.

Travel insurance, though not mandatory, protects travellers from unforeseen expenses like medical bills, theft, or trip cancellations.

Despite these benefits, the study shows a significant number of travellers are willing to forgo this safety net.

When asked about the importance of travel insurance, nearly a third (30%) of respondents aged 18 to 24 admitted they’ve never purchased a travel insurance policy, viewing it as an unnecessary expense.

Similarly, around 20% of these young adults said they might skip buying a policy in the future since they have never needed to make a claim.

Interestingly, Gen Z males are more inclined to skip travel insurance, with over a third (36%) never having bought a policy, compared to 25% of women in the same age group.

In stark contrast, older travellers are less likely to take such risks. Only 14% of those over 35 reported they travel without insurance.

Despite some scepticism, nearly half (49%) of all survey participants stated they always purchase travel insurance because it’s often inexpensive and provides peace of mind.

The survey also explored the prevalence of various insurance products. Over a third (35%) of respondents currently have a travel insurance policy, making it the fourth most common insurance product after motor, home, and life insurance.

Commenting on these findings, Liz Hunter, Money Expert’s Commercial Director, noted, “Even though travel insurance isn’t a legal requirement, it’s positive to see that the vast majority of people would opt for a policy if they have upcoming travel plans.

What’s more worrying is seeing how some of the younger generation of travellers are considering not taking out a policy when they next take a trip away or have never purchased travel insurance at all.”

Hunter highlighted the importance of travel insurance with data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), which reported that travel insurers handled 362,000 claims in 2022—a 148% increase from the previous year.

The ABI also noted that one claim for medical treatment abroad was approximately £250,000, underscoring the potential financial burden of travelling uninsured.

“It’s understandable why many may think travel insurance is just another unnecessary expense, particularly if you’ve bought a policy in the past and never needed to make a claim.

However, the protection provided should be seen as reassurance that if you ever fell ill, had an accident or experienced theft or damage to your property when you’re away, you’d be covered from having to pay out of your own pocket,” Hunter added.

With policies starting around £16 for a week-long trip for a traveller in their 20s, travel insurance is a practical addition to any travel checklist to avoid potentially massive medical bills or property loss.

For those planning their next trip, Liz Hunter offers the following expert advice:

  1. Purchase Travel Insurance Early: Buy travel insurance as soon as you book your trip to ensure full protection against cancellations or other unforeseen issues.
  2. Declare Pre-existing Medical Conditions: Always disclose any pre-existing medical conditions when getting a quote to avoid invalidating your policy.
  3. Use Comparison Websites: These can help you find the best price and coverage options quickly.
  4. Focus on Coverage, Not Price: Ensure the policy covers medical expenses, cancellations, and baggage loss, rather than just opting for the cheapest option.
  5. Check for Activity Coverage: If engaging in extreme sports or activities, ensure your policy covers any related accidents or consider add-ons if needed.
  6. Verify Existing Coverage: Some credit cards, bank accounts, and home insurance policies include basic travel insurance, which may be sufficient for low-risk trips.

While Gen X is most likely to skip travel insurance, it’s clear that having a policy in place can offer significant financial protection and peace of mind for all travellers.

You can find the full research and data here.