Nationwide issues £900 warning to customers who have holiday booked in July or August

Nationwide has warned UK drivers are 24 times more likely to travel than drive without insurance despite a £900 average claim. Half (44%) of holidaymakers risk travelling minus cover, with one in eight (13%) admitting to never getting any.

This compares with just 2% of motorists risking driving without any insurance, according to industry data. Despite travel insurance being optional, people can be left significantly out of pocket without adequate cover.

Only 27% secure travel insurance when booking their holiday while 17% never read the policy documents. Marta Edwards, Head of Current Accounts at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Holidays are our time to switch off and relax. Most claims are minor, but if you fall seriously ill or have an accident while abroad, the costs can run into tens or in some cases hundreds of thousands of pounds.

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"Having adequate cover in place provides peace of mind that in the event something does go wrong you are protected. And unlike car insurance, just because travel cover is an optional expense, it shouldn’t make it easier to ignore. The risk isn’t worth it.

“Our FlexPlus current account offers comprehensive worldwide family cover as well as a range of other benefits that are useful if you are holidaying in the UK or abroad.” 44 per cent have risked travelling without any cover in place when they go on holiday.

This is 24 times more than the estimated one in 42 drivers on UK roads not being insured, according to the Motor Insurance Bureau. One in eight (13%) people admit they never get travel insurance. The research shows that older travellers (55+) are twice as likely to make sure they always have cover in place compared to younger travellers (16-24), at 59 per cent compared to 30 per cent.

According to Aviva, which provides the travel insurance on Nationwide’s FlexPlus packaged current account, the average travel insurance claim value is £900. The main reason people get travel insurance cover is for protection should they fall ill while abroad (62%).

Other reasons include if they need to cancel (40%) or if something stolen (33%) or problems with their flight (28%), or if their suitcase goes missing (26%).