Flight related incidents are on the rise and, as a result, passengers are increasingly becoming exposed to physical injuries, damaged or lost baggage, as well as flight delays and cancellations.
According to the figures from flight refunds claim services SKYCOP, every month, an average of 30,000 flights across the globe are cancelled.
Still no insurance?
Despite the rising incidence of travel setbacks, passengers continue to turn away from travel insurance.
In the UAE alone, 38 per cent of residents have seen an incident while travelling in the past 12 months, according to a survey released on Monday by Dubai-based comparison website yallacompare.
The survey revealed that the most common travel-related incidents faced by UAE residents are lost/stolen baggage and flight cancellations, with 25.5 per cent and 18.2 per cent of respondents respectively claiming to have experienced these setbacks while travelling in the past 12 months. And 5.5 per cent said that they have had cash stolen while on holiday.
Despite this, when asked about their attitudes towards travel cover, 60 per cent of survey respondents said that they do not take out travel insurance when they travel away from the UAE.
“There’s an almost perfect correlation in the data between those who have seen incidents while travelling and those who take out travel insurance when leaving the UAE. The 60 per cent of respondents who do not regularly take out travel cover are almost exclusively made up of respondents who have not seen an incident while travelling and vice versa,” said Jonathan Rawling, CFO of yallacompare.
“This attitude is understandable – if you’ve never seen an incident while travelling, why bother covering yourself for one?” Rawling asks. “However, our position is that, given enough time, and enough journeys, seeing a travel-related setback such as lost luggage or a flight cancellation becomes more and more likely. Not being covered for this is like not wearing a seatbelt just because you’ve never been in a car accident.”
This sentiment is not shared by the majority of UAE residents; of the survey respondents who stated that they do not take out travel insurance regularly, just 35 per cent said that they assumed they should, but never get around to it.
In fact, 30 per cent of respondents said that they do not see the point in travel insurance at all, while others said that cover was either too expensive (13.6 per cent), or too difficult to arrange (6.1 per cent).
These attitudes are worrying, because more than 76 per cent of survey respondents said that they travel away from the UAE at least twice a year, with just over 27 per cent saying that they travel four or more times every year.