An estimated 1.9 million British tourists forgot to take out travel insurance

  • 16% of travellers forgot to buy travel insurance [1]
  • Forgetting to get covered may be costing travellers £8.6 million per month [2]
  • Over a quarter of holidaymakers say they can’t afford travel insurance [1]

A new report from Go.Compare has estimated that almost 2 million British tourists forgot to take out travel insurance for their trip in the second half of 2021. This could be costing holidaymakers £8.6 million per month in would-be claims.[2]

The comparison site calculated that approximately 12.37 million UK residents travelled overseas without insurance between July and December 2021. When asking holidaymakers why they take the risk of travelling without insurance, 16% (equivalent to around 1.9 million travellers), said it simply slipped their mind.[1][2] This forgetfulness results in approximately 8,500 would-be claims per month.[2]

The list of reasons why Brits travel without insurance can be found below:

Reasons for not taking out travel insurance [1]

  1. It was too expensive - 26%
  2. I didn’t think I’d need it - 25%
  3. I was going on a short trip - 17%
  4. I wouldn’t be covered for a pre-existing condition/illness - 16%
  5. I forgot - 16%

While many travellers just forget to take out a policy, Go.Compare’s survey found that the main reason for travelling without cover is due to costs.

A quarter (26%) of Brits opted against travel insurance because they felt it was too expensive. This translates to an estimated 3.2 million holidaymakers in the second half of 2021, resulting in around 14,000 would-be claims per month. [1][2] This totals a huge cost of £14.3 million being lost, simply because of holidaymakers not having a policy to claim on when they needed to.[2]

Ceri McMillan, travel insurance expert at Go.Compare, said: “Travel insurance costs can vary, but many policies start from as little as a couple of pounds. If factors like age or medical conditions are increasing the price, you need to really consider the risks. We strongly recommend paying the premium, especially if you’ve booked an expensive holiday, where you’ll want the reassurance that you can get your money back in an emergency scenario.”

Travel insurance is not a legal requirement, but it gives holidaymakers peace of mind. It is especially important when holidaying somewhere without free healthcare, where an injury or illness could end up costing tens of thousands of pounds in medical expenses.

Travel insurance may also cover travellers for emergency repatriation, travel delays and cancellations, lost luggage and theft.

The full report can be found here:


Notes to editors - about the data

[1] In order to collect the data used in this report, Go.Compare conducted a survey of 2,000 UK residents via YouGov. The survey was run on 21 October 2022 and all responses were randomly selected. All statistics featured on this page are sourced via this survey unless otherwise stated.

[2] Survey results were combined with ONS data on the number of visits abroad by UK residents to calculate the number of uninsured travellers for each reason they didn’t take out travel insurance. The approximate number of would-be claims from uninsured travellers was based on the FCA claim frequency percentage, and the total cost for each was based on the FCA cost of an average claim payout, multiplied by the number of travellers.


Contact Information

Notes to editors

About Go.Compare

Go.Compare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

It does not charge people to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. Go.Compare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. It is this approach to comparing products that secured the company an invitation to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in 2008, and it is still the only comparison site to be a member of this organisation.

Go.Compare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest and works with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

Go.Compare is part of Future Plc and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). More information can be found here or here