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An increasing number of holidaymakers are heading overseas without travel insurance, putting themselves and their families at risk.

Research from ABTA shows that one in five Brits have visited a doctor or hospital abroad, something which can land the person concerned with hefty bills if they are not properly covered. Over two in five, meanwhile, think the contents of their suitcase would be worth more than £500 for a two-week holiday - yet many still insist on not purchasing insurance.

In light of the findings, Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, claims more needs to be done to persuade people to take out travel insurance. “Medical bills can run into thousands of pounds, so government must do all that it can to encourage people to take our insurance and make it easy for them to get the right kind of cover for their needs,” he said. This opinion is also shared by 57% of MPs. Not only can travel insurance cover you against medical bills, it can also protect you against lost luggage on flights or airport transfers.

Despite what some people may think, a European Health Insurance Card is not a suitable substitute for travel insurance as it only provides access to basic state medical care and will never cover the costs of repatriation to the UK nor lost or damaged belongings.

Copyright Press Association 2013