Young people trailing older generations for travel insurance on continental getaways

But casual attitude to risk shrinks when 18-24 year olds plan to go backpacking around the world

07 October 2014

As many look to chase the sun into Europe this autumn, new research shows that young people are risking potentially mountainous fees by shunning travel insurance for weekend breaks, with just four in ten saying they would cover themselves. The poll also shows that it is only when going on a worldwide trip of up to six months that the numbers of young people covering themselves tends to move closer to that of older age groups.

Research commissioned by Nationwide Building Society reveals that only four in ten (42%) young people aged 18-24, would insure themselves for a weekend or long weekend in Europe, compared to nearly two thirds of those aged 55 and above (63%).

However, the attitude towards risk shrinks significantly if a younger person was considering globetrotting for up to six months, with more than two thirds (67%) of young people saying they would purchase travel insurance, compared to 76% of those in the 55-plus age bracket.

Regardless of the length of break, not having travel insurance could turn out to be a very costly mistake, with Nationwide data showing that the average medical claim is £1,350¹. And while travellers falling ill in many parts of Europe can cover their medical costs through the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC2), it will not cover repatriation to the UK if the illness or accident is very serious, meaning people could be forced to pay a bill running into tens of thousands of pounds. Nor will it cover a range of potential events, including lost or stolen luggage, cancellations and delays.

Nationwide’s FlexPlus packaged account provides worldwide family travel insurance in addition to a range of other associated benefits including worldwide family mobile phone cover and UK and European breakdown cover (see Notes to Editor).

Phil Smith, Nationwide Head of Current Accounts, said: “Going on holiday abroad is an exciting time, regardless of how old we are. But it is also a very busy time, with a range of things needing to be ticked off such as collecting currency, packing suitcases and booking taxis. Amid all this organised chaos, travel insurance can often be overlooked or even ignored as people trade off the risk versus the benefits. Whether you are planning to go away for a weekend or six months, it is important to make sure you have the proper level of cover, as otherwise you could end up out of pocket. The simple fact is that it doesn’t take a six-month trip to have an accident, lose your luggage or miss a flight. It can happen in an instant.

“Nationwide’s FlexPlus current account includes worldwide family travel insurance as one of the benefits, with the level of cover being one of the best around. It provides people who holiday at home or abroad with peace of mind that that they have a high level of cover if the unfortunate does occur.”

Notes to Editor

Research provided by YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,176 UK adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th - 19th August 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Nationwide’s travel insurance is provided by U K Insurance Limited.

¹ Source: Nationwide claims data as provided by U K Insurance Limited

2 The European health Insurance Card is a free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country. Source: European Commission.

See: www.ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=509&langId=en (This link will open in a new window)

Also, EHIC often doesn't cover medical costs incurred in the private/ outpatient clinics which are frequently most local to popular tourist destinations and resorts.

FlexPlus Key Information

Full information about FlexPlus

Account Eligibility

  • FlexPlus is open to new and existing customers aged 18 years and over
  • Single and joint account options available

Account Fee

  • FlexPlus has a £10 per month fee

Credit Interest

  • 3% AER (2.96% gross p.a) on credit balances up to £2,500
  • Credit interest is not payable on balances over £2,500

Benefits

  • Worldwide Family Travel insurance
  • Worldwide Family Mobile Phone Insurance
  • UK and European Breakdown cover
  • Extended Warranty Cover
  • ID Theft Assistance
  • Worldwide card emergency assistance
  • Commission free ATM withdrawals abroad

Exclusions and limitations apply to all FlexPlus insurances

About Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as the second largest savings and mortgage provider in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 17,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 17,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

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