With almost 40% of the Scottish travelers falling victim to travel mishaps such as medical emergences, delayed or misplaced luggage, or cancelled flights, it is perhaps fair to label Scottish travelers as somewhat incident-prone.
Yet, studies reveal that more than half of the victims of such incidents abroad did not have the travel insurance that would have offered them protection from these exigencies.
According to the findings of a research conducted by the Bank of Scotland, a study that attempt to explore how prepared the Scots are to deal with the common mishaps such as misplaced luggage, broken mobile phones or vehicle trouble, the Scots are generally under-insured and hence ill-prepared to deal with the common accidents.
According to the research, while almost 40% will be spending their summer holiday abroad this year, more than a third (38%) find themselves without travel insurance. Looking at past figures, 18% of the Scottish travelers have been abroad without any form of insurance in the last six years. While some are saying that they will wait until their holidays are nearer to get their travel insurance sorted out, this trend of insurance dereliction is expected to continue.
Travel insurance is not the only form of financial protection that finds itself low on a Scot’s list of priorities. Bank of Scotland’s research suggests that the lack of adequate cover has seen a sum total of £194 million being spent on replacing or repairing misplaced or damaged mobile phones last year. Of the 59% that have lost or damaged their phones at least once in their lifetime, and the 33% that have lost or damaged their phones within the last year, 71% had no insurance protection. Despite the collective bill of £194 million, the most popular reason cited for not taking out a travel insurance policy was the unwillingness to bear the additional costs.
Surprisingly, in a nation where eight in ten owns a car, breakdown cover is also often overlooked. Although most feel that they can rely on their cars not breaking down, 48% of the Scots have had to deal with breakdowns at least once in the last five years, and of those 31% had no roadside cover. Other than having confidence in their cars (often misplaced), affordability of policy and unwillingness to bear the extra costs were also cited as reasons for not taking on cover.
According to Lisa Stephenson, head of customer experience at the Bank of Scotland, while it is easy to neglect the idea of protecting oneself from something that might or might not happen, it is important to realize that accidents do happen. When things do go wrong, and consumers realize the importance of travel insurance, it is too late. “The cost of not taking out insurance can far outweigh the cost of being well prepared”, she said.
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