Press release


Monday 17 December 2012

• One in ten over 50s have travelled without insurance
• More than a quarter of 25 -34 year olds have travelled without insurance
• Most common claim for the over 50s is for cancellation
• Most expensive claims for the over 50s are for medical expenses

Whether people are searching for sun, sea, or snow this winter the cost of holidays can soon add up. But, as travelling costs escalate, many are choosing to cut corners on insurance and may come to regret it. Saga Travel Insurance research shows that one in ten (10%) over 50s have travelled without insurance at some point in the last five years* and 20% of under 50s chose to travel without cover. Younger travellers are even more likely to take such risks – 27% of those aged 25 – 34.

The decision not to take insurance cover can be particularly costly the older you are. It is not just about losing luggage or experiencing delayed flights, the Saga research shows the most common claims happen before people leave home. Cancellation accounts for more than two fifths (42%) of all travel claims made by the over 50s and the most common reason is because they fall ill before their departure date**.

The data suggests that travelling abroad without insurance could be a costly mistake. Medical expenses are the most expensive claims and on average cost £2,195. The fact that the over 50s have an average of 1.67 medical conditions*** means it is particularly important that they take out travel insurance to cover any pre-existing conditions that could cause them to fall ill abroad.

However, it’s not just failing ill from a pre existing condition that could turn a holiday sour and break the bank. A stomach bug or ear infection could set uninsured travellers back around £200, while breaking a leg in America could cost as much £45,000****.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services commented: “Not packing travel insurance can be a costly mistake – paying thousands for a cancelled holiday or medical bills is sure to wipe the smile from the most genial of globetrotters faces. So it’s important to make sure everything is covered from the moment you book your holiday.”


Notes to Editors
• *Populus interviewed 2,002 adults online between 30th November - 2nd December 2012. 904 respondents were over 50. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
• **Saga Travel Insurance 2011 claims data for annual and single travel insurance combined.
• ***Average medical conditions is based on Saga Travel Insurance customers
• ****The table below demonstrates the cost of some treatments if people travel without travel insurance. First Assist 2011 - costs are based on a treatment in a private facility.

Example costs of in-patient treatment for people without travel insurance




USA  2 days in intensive care  £35,000 
USA  Bronchitis - 7 days in-patient  £45,000 
USA  Heart attack  £80,000 
USA  Broken leg  £45,000 
France  Broken leg  £10,000 
Europe Bronchitis - 7 days in-patient £10,000

Example costs of outpatient treatment

Country/region  Condition  Cost 
Mediterranean  Simple conditions not requiring admission such as upset stomach,
ear infection, infected mosquito bites, sunburn, dehydration etc 
£200 per visit 
USA  Simple conditions not requiring admission such as upset stomach,
ear infection, infected mosquito bites, sunburn, dehydration etc 
£500 - £700 per visit 

Proportion of over 50s who have travelled without
insurance in the last 5 years 
(Men 10%, Women 9%) 
Proportion of people under 50 who have travelled
without insurance in the last 5 years 
Most common age to have travelled without insurance in
the last 5 years 
25 - 34 year olds
Most common claims among the over 50s  Cancellation
Most expensive claims among the over 50s  Medical expenses
(average claim £2,195) 
Number of medical conditions the average person over 50 has  1.67
(Men 1.84, Women 1.53) 

Saga Travel Insurance
Tailored for the over 50s, our wide-ranging cover includes:
• Up to £10,000,000 for medical expenses
• £2,500 of cover for lost, stolen or damaged baggage
• Cover for most pre-existing medical conditions
• Up to £5,000 for airspace, airport/port closure due to severe weather or strike in the UK or abroad
• Up to £1,500 if you’re stranded abroad
• Easy to use online medical screening
• 24 hour English-speaking travel assistance helpline for advice before and whilst you are away
• No upper age limit
• Please call 0800 015 0757 or visit for more information