No Travel Insurance

A study of Brits’ travel insurance habits 


Whether you're travelling abroad or within the UK, travel insurance can cover you for any unexpected events during or before your trip.

We've conducted a study of 2,000 British respondents to determine their attitudes towards purchasing travel insurance, including the countries where they are more likely to take a risk and go without it, and the key reasons why.

The benefits of travel insurance become clear when you compare people’s habits and the things that can go wrong even at the safest and most popular holiday destinations – including stats like the numbers of stolen passports. 

How many people don’t take out travel insurance?

From cancelled accommodation to accidents abroad, we all hope that our holiday runs smoothly and free of stress, but is it ever safe to assume your trip will go ahead without a hitch?

You’re not alone if you’ve ever gone on holiday without taking out travel insurance: our survey showed that as many as 28% of people didn’t take out travel insurance for their most recent trip, not including those who already had an existing policy.

28% of people didn't take out insurance on their latest trip

Our survey also uncovered the 10 destinations where people are most likely to decide against taking out travel insurance, and the 10 places Brits feel they need cover the most.

The Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium are the places people felt most able to skip out on travel insurance during their most recent trip. But are they all as safe as that? The Netherlands, for example, has an unusually high rate of lost or stolen passports, at 82 per 100,000 visitors – a very good reason for someone to claim on their insurance.

Top 10 countries where people don't take out travel insurance & their risk

Country % of People Who Didn't Buy Insurance  Over 15 Minute Airport Delay % Thefts per 100,000 Visits Local Disaster Rate Brits Hospitalised Abroad Hospitalisations per 100,000 Visits Passport Losses per 100,000 Visits
Netherlands 29% 23% 0.28 8% 15 1.06 82.33
Denmark 29% 15% 2.54 3% 4 2.54 76.80
Belgium 29% 21% 0.53 3% 4 0.53 51.51
Morocco 25% 12% 1.01 6% 34 8.56 15.87
Czech Republic 25% 24% 1.18 3% 16 4.72 74.04
Germany 23% 17% 0.41 3% 45 4.59 55.13
Hungary 22% 19% 1.39 5% 14 4.87 72.02
Poland 20% 20% 0.96 3% 10 2.39 414.08
France 19% 23% 0.39 3% 171 3.19 35.54
Switzerland 17% 20% 0.00 2% 10 2.20 70.03


Top 10 countries where people do take out travel insurance & their risk

Country % of People Who Didn't Buy Insurance  Over 15 Minute Airport Delay %  Thefts per 100,000 Visits Local Disaster Rate Brits Hospitalised Abroad Hospitalisations per 100,000 Visits Passport Losses per 100,000 Visits
Jamaica 0% 20% 6.33 12% 14 14.77 103.36
Australia 1% 19% 3.45 4% 40 34.52 1220.16
Greece 4% 12% 0.20 7% 379 19.36 25.39
Egypt 5% 36% 4.16 2% 43 44.77 56.22
Italy 5% 17% 0.16 4% 88 3.55 56.96
USA 5% 19% 0.20 4% 81 3.95 121.34
Malta 5% 26% 0.00 1% 30 7.50 29.49
Bulgaria 6% 18% 1.69 4% 12 5.08 47.83
Turkey 7% 22% 1.08 5% 110 13.23 44.13
China 7% 15% 0.00 6% 42 101.36 301.66


Common reasons why travel insurance isn’t bought

Whether you’re on a long-haul flight to Jamaica or a weekend break to Blackpool, it’s important that you take out the travel insurance cover that suits your needs.

Our analysis shows that the top reason for people not to buy travel insurance is that they don’t think they need it. Nearly one in three people we asked admitted this as their reason (30%).

One in four respondents, meanwhile, avoided travel insurance because they didn’t think they were travelling far enough to warrant it.

No matter where you are in the world, luggage can still be lost and accidents can still happen, so it’s better to cover all bases before travelling.  

Why people don't take out travel insurance

Does the length of a trip affect whether people take travel insurance?

Our study suggests that the length of a trip can be a factor in whether travel insurance is bought.

Over half (51%) of people travelling for less than a week didn’t take out travel insurance for their most recent trip, and didn’t have any other cover such as an existing multi-trip policy. More people took insurance out for their most recent two-week trips, but 13.2% still decided against it.

It can be easy to think that travel insurance isn’t a necessity for a quick weekend trip, and we don’t like to consider the worst-case scenario, but if you’re prone to forget, why not consider an annual insurance policy? This covers a quick weekend away as well as any two-week trips. These policies can often be cheaper than taking out insurance for individual trips – though this depends on your circumstances and how often you travel.

Percentage of policies


Do people take out travel insurance for trips within the UK?

More than one in three (37%) admitted that they had never taken out travel insurance for a trip within the UK – and nor would they consider it. Of those who have travelled within the past five years, England (70%), Scotland (69%), Wales (67%) and Ireland (37%) are the top destinations for which Brits did not take out travel insurance.

It’s still useful to take out travel insurance if you book a holiday within the UK, as it can cover you for lost valuables and cancelled accommodation.

Top destinations for Brits who don't take out travel insurance




Our top tips for getting the right travel insurance

Whether you’re going on a quick city-break or spending two weeks on a sandy beach, your holiday should be a relaxing experience.

We want to ensure your holiday is as free of stress as it should be, which is why we encourage everyone to take out travel insurance. Should you fall ill or have something stolen, travel insurance ensures you’re covered and well looked-after.

It is important to also understand the terms and conditions of your insurance policy to ensure it’s tailored to your personal needs.

Below we’ve outlined some top tips to ensure you’re fully covered:

Check your policy’s cash limit

You should check the cash limit on your policy; £250 is a sensible amount. You should avoid carrying more money than this on you, as anything above that won’t be covered if you need to claim for a theft or loss.

Travel insurance can cover against cancellations

To avoid any shortcomings you should confirm the maximum amount your policy covers for cancellations, and make sure it meets the whole cost of your trip. That way if your holiday is cancelled, you should be able to claim back the whole cost of the trip.

Make sure your valuables are covered

Checking the single item and valuables limit on your policy is important. This is the maximum your insurer will pay out for a lost or stolen item, and you may find that your mobile phone or camera are worth more than the cover unless you get the right policy.

For more information, read our full guide to travel insurance:


Sources and methodology 

Consular data listed as <5 has been listed as 4 for the purposes of ranking data. This data refers to the full year of 2018.

The assumption has been made that there is no intersection between stolen passports and theft data.

The calculation of those who did not take out travel insurance takes into consideration all respondents who replied 'No' to the question 'Did they take out travel insurance', but also removes anyone who answered 'No' because they have multi-trip or they're covered by their bank or parents’ policy.

Media Survey Conducted 12.03.19 - 15.03.19


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