sea-beach-holiday-vacation

21 Jul Young Irish women least likely to take out travel insurance

  • Almost 1 in 5 young women skimp on cover
  • Men aged 17-24 now more likely to take adequate precautions abroad
  • Young tourists set for globetrotting summer, outnumber older generation

 

Almost 1 in 5 young Irish women are taking unnecessary financial risks this summer by shunning travel insurance before going on holiday, according to a recent AA Travel Insurance survey.

The poll of nearly 8,000 people finds that some 18% of young female tourists aged between 17 and 24 years old are regularly travelling abroad without proper cover in place. The figures represent a trend in young women failing to adequately protect themselves from financial risk, says The AA. Results from a 2013 poll showed 20% of women continued to forgo travel cover, despite the dangers involved.

According to the AA Travel Insurance survey, of the young women holidaying without cover nearly 1 in 5 are visiting countries outside of Europe, which fail to come under the European Health Insurance Card remit. A further 13% are travelling to North America, where they will have to foot high hospital bills in the event of an accident or illness.

In a surprise reversal of trends, young men aged between 17 and 24 years old are now more likely to take adequate precautions abroad with 76% investing in cover before they jet off. This is in stark comparison to 2013, when just 45% admitted to protecting themselves with some form of holiday insurance. The number of those neglecting to take out cover has dropped significantly since 2013, from 34% to 16%.

The survey’s findings should be a wake-up call for young people and their families,” says Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at The AA. “Whether it’s a weekend trip with their mates or backpacking around Europe, for a lot of parents this summer will be their child’s first holiday without them. If the unthinkable happens, the costs stemming from these events often fall to parents, putting financial pressure on already cash-strapped families.”

The AA survey further reveals that overall, young Irish adults have a poor reputation for investing in insurance before going on holiday. This is despite the fact that most report they are set for a globetrotting summer: 45% are partying in destinations around Europe, while Spain is a hot-spot for 40% of young holidaymakers this year.

And although a whopping 70% of us are committing to taking a holiday this summer, over 1 in 3 older families are abandoning sunshine breaks and opting to put their money towards an Irish trip. The AA Travel Insurance survey finds that some 35% of us will be basking in the “Irish sun” over the coming months, with those aged between 36 and 45 years old most likely to take a staycation.

The poll also reveals the top hot spots Irish tourists are hitting this summer, with 1 in 3 opting for the sunnier climes of Spain. The majority of the remaining destinations fell inside Europe, suggesting short-haul travel is the winner in 2015.

Disasters don’t just happen in far-flung destinations; you can find yourself in the middle of a holiday drama even when you’re on a weekend break,” says Conor. “It’s a question of being conscious of your surroundings and protecting your belongings, ensuring they’re as inaccessible as possible.  I’d always advise travellers to know what’s covered in their travel insurance, too.   That way you can at least get the maximum benefit from your cover if thieves do strike.”

Top destinations for Irish tourists this summer:

  1. Ireland: 35%
  2. Spain: 33%
  3. Other European country: 24%
  4. Great Britain: 23%
  5. Portugal: 16%
  6. France: 15%
  7. North America: 14%
  8. Italy: 13%
  9. Northern Ireland: 9%
  10. Australia: 4%
  11. New Zealand: 3%

Orla O'Callaghan
orla.o'callaghan@theaa.ie