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Two in five millennial travellers are travelling abroad without insurance, according to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). The organisation said this number has risen since 2016, from 31% uninsured to 40%. The research from ABTA also showed that, of those who travelled abroad without insurance, over a third (36%) simply thought they did not need it. One in five (22%) stated that travelling uninsured was a risk they were willing to take. However, the organisation found several examples from British travellers whose family and friends are now facing the consequences of the risk-taking. Gareth Harnett, 30, went on a five day holiday with friends to Phuket and suffered a heart attack. He didn’t have travel insurance and now his friends are now trying raise £15,000. ABTA found a rise in Brits using crowdfunding to raise money for unexpected medical services required while travelling overseas. In many cases, the unplanned treatments cost thousands of pounds.

“Every year we see cases of people falling into difficulty due to travelling without insurance. Often their families have to raise thousands of pounds for their treatment or repatriation and that’s why it is so worrying to see an increase in younger people travelling without insurance. Rather than having to resort to the kindness of strangers, holidaymakers should make sure that they have the right insurance in place. I would urge all holidaymakers to make sure they take out an insurance policy this summer, ” said Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive.

WYSE Travel Confederation member Global Secutive is an international insurance agency which provides coverage for youth travellers. They recommend travellers find insurance coverage that offers the right amount of coverage at a sensible price point.

“No one plans to get sick or have an accident but unfortunately it happens. When you travel abroad your network of doctors and payment assistance don’t follow. You buy insurance to protect yourself – both your health and your pocketbook. Don’t let the desire to avoid a small upfront investment turn into a long term headache,” explained Secutive co-founder Jochen Ostermann.

In addition to medical coverage while travelling, travel insurance plans typically cover personal liability if you damage other people or things. They also often protect your belongings and cover for travel cancellations and delays.