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Think You’re Covered Travelling Abroad?… Don’t Bank On It!

Posted on May 24, 2019 by Lucy Hancock
bank travel insurance


  • 3.3 million British holidaymakers over the age of 50 are unknowingly travelling without adequate travel insurance
  • One in four opt for travel insurance packages provided by banks because it’s free
  • Opting for travel insurance from banks doesn’t necessarily mean travellers are covered
  • Almost one in ten people who use their bank for travel insurance have claimed and been rejected, versus those claiming through specialist insurance providers

According to an exclusive report released today by the UK’s leading travel insurance company, Staysure, 3.3 million British holidaymakers over the age of 50 are unknowingly travelling abroad without adequate travel insurance, when opting to rely on travel insurance offered by their banks.

The Don’t Bank On It (DBOI) Report, uncovers serious pitfalls in travel insurance provided by leading banks, which are leaving many over 50s exposed and without cover. The resulting fallout could cost UK consumers thousands in medical bills.

The first of its kind industry report goes on to highlight that one in four Brits rely only on banks’ for their insurance cover, which is offered as an incentive to open an account. Often, this does not cover older travellers with pre-existing medical conditions – a small print factor regularly missed by consumers.

Furthermore, 75 per cent (three quarters) of the adults surveyed admitted to not reading T&Cs fully and almost 20 per cent said they would consider not declaring past medical conditions with their travel insurer before travelling; this number rises to 34 per cent when looking at those with cover provided by their banks, which could often leave them without full protection and putting their life savings at risk, should the worst happen whilst abroad.

Continuing to raise issues, the report also showed troubling consumer attitudes towards travel insurance, with 75 per cent of those who opted for cover provided by banks doing so because it was complimentary. A fact that has proven costly, as the DBOI Report uncovered that 9 per cent more people using banking insurance have claimed and been rejected vs. those claiming through specialist travel insurance.

Additionally, the insurance policies offered by banks as an incentive to take out a new product usually have a maximum age-limit, which frequently means that customers over the age of 75 could be travelling without any cover in place at all.

Ryan Howsam, Staysure chairman, said: “To have commissioned a report such as this and by uncovering the truth behind the pitfalls of banking travel insurance, we’re keen to educate the British public by bringing this into the limelight. Here at Staysure, we hear countless stories of individuals not being adequately covered by their banks while they’re away, which could have been realised, simply, by reading the small print or by taking out specialist travel insurance policies we offer.

“Anyone travelling should always seek advice from specialist insurers to purchase the right travel insurance that is tailored to their individual needs. No one should ever be left helpless in a foreign country with insufficient cover and umanageable medical bills.”

In 2018, Staysure paid out on 90% of claims, equating to pay-outs totalling in excess of £25 million. Staysure’s Claims Services successfully dealt with in excess of 25,000 claims, which equates to 68 claims per day or 3 claims per hour.

With an ageing population in the UK, Staysure is committed to protecting their customers with the highest degree of cover that is tailored to the needs of the individual. Most UK banks aren’t able to offer the same specialised service and it is essential that consumers are aware of this when choosing the right travel insurance.

A copy of Staysure’s Don’t Bank on It report can be viewed and downloaded from the Staysure homepage

Regional breakdown

  • Londoners are most likely to rely on ‘add-on’ insurance than any other region
  • Londoners are twice as likely to rely on ‘add-on’ insurance (34%) than East Midlanders (17%)
  • Welsh are the most frugal with 89 per cent stating that the fact that ‘add-on’ insurance was free was the main reason they chose it
  • Those in the South West are looking for an easy life, with 71 per cent going with ‘add-on’ travel insurance because it was convenient at the time
  • East Midlanders are most likely to source specialist travel insurance
  • Northern Ireland the luckiest region with only 15 per cent ever having had to claim on their travel insurance
  • Londoners would do well to hedge their bets, as almost 40 per cent of the nation’s capital have had cause to claim on their travel insurance (38%)
  • 15 per cent of Scots would decline ‘add-on’ insurance from banks because they don’t trust banks as an institution. That level distrust is only outdone by South Westerners (16%)