Jo urges holidaymakers not to travel uninsured

Local MP Jo Swinson today warned constituents about the dangers of travelling uninsured. In support of a campaign by ABTA – The Travel Association and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Jo is urging holidaymakers in East Dunbartonshire to “pack your policy” ahead of the great summer getaway.

According to new research, many UK holidaymakers are uninformed of the medical treatment costs abroad and may be putting themselves at risk of very high medical bills if something goes wrong.  Nearly a third (29%)1 of individuals in East Dunbartonshire now travel abroad without insurance, despite the need for medical assistance being relatively common. According to ABTA research, 16%2 of people from East Dunbartonshire have visited a doctor or hospital while abroad.

Commenting Jo said:

“Everyone looks forward to their well-deserved summer holiday. Nonetheless, it’s important we make sure that when we do travel overseas, we are covered if something goes wrong. Many countries do not have national schemes to cover the cost of healthcare and treatment abroad can consequently be very costly. It is not worth taking the risk. That is why I am very happy to support this campaign. I encourage all local residents to ‘pack your policy’ this summer.”

Most at risk are younger travellers as almost half (48%)3 will have a holiday abroad without taking out travel insurance. Recently released FCO research has found that 4 out of 5 (82%)4 young people confess to taking part in more daring behaviour on holiday – yet fewer than half (45%) check that their insurance covers risky pursuits.

ABTA has launched a new advice section on travel insurance for consumers. for full details.


  • Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd ( who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2008 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to September 2012. Fieldwork was conducted in September 2012.
  • Research conducted by YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2016 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th June – 6th June 2013.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  • Travellers aged 15-24, Arkenford September 2012
  • Survey conducted online by Censuswide. Total sample size was 1,690 UK Adults who have travelled abroad. Fieldwork was undertaken in May 2013
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Mark Simmonds provided the following quote with the launch of the campaign: “Many people travel abroad without insurance and that means if they are injured or fall ill it could be very expensive, it could even be a matter of life and death. Many don’t realise that the Government will not pay their medical bills abroad or pay for repatriation. I strongly urge everyone to take out comprehensive travel insurance so they can enjoy their holiday without risking their health or their savings.”
  • ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer provided the following quote with the launch of the campaign: “With the peak holiday season coming up and British tourists heading abroad, we urge holidaymakers to think about travel insurance and to pack their policy. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen and sometimes these accidents can lead to costly medical bills.  It is just not worth taking the risk, when an average annual travel insurance policy costs less than £25.”

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