Gap year tourists urged to get insurance

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Travel claims and assistance company CEGA has launched a new campaign advising UK gap year travellers to take out travel insurance. The campaign was launched after the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) found that gap year bookings have risen by more than 30 per cent in 2017, but at the same time the number of travellers aged between 18 and 24 travelling without insurance has risen by 10 per cent, bringing the total number up to two in five.

CEGA has said that it aims to educate young travellers ‘not just about the importance of travel insurance, but also about the need to take out the right policy to cover specific destinations, trip lengths and risky sports’. The insurer has pointed out to young travellers that they need to assess the possible risks of intended destinations before setting off, including whether the water is clean enough to drink, how to avoid mosquito bites and checking the reliability of the medical system in the country they’re travelling to.

“It’s important to keep giving young travellers the message that travel insurance isn’t a luxury, it’s an essential safety net,” said CEGA’s chief medical officer Dr Lynn Gordon. “We’re telling them that insurers won’t just cover their costs in an emergency, they will also manage their medical care and give them professional support when they may be thousands of miles from home. We’re also saying that it’s important to take responsibility for their gap year travels by finding out the risks and learning how to avoid them.”