Comparatively, travellers ran into far less problems in countries that are not considered to be on a “risk list”, such as the US and Canada (six per cent and five per cent respectively).
“It is worrying that the countries where holidaymakers are most likely to travel without insurance like India, Sri Lanka and Mauritius are also ones where our research found that more problems occurred that might lead to medical treatment or loss of valuable belongings,” said Paul Havenhand, head of insurance at Post Office.
“If you are planning a winter sun trip to an exotic destination, it is vital to ensure you are comprehensively covered to ensure that you have peace of mind when travelling far away from home. Avoid cheap travel insurance deals that could leave you exposed when problems occur.”
Travellers in the under 35 age bracket are the biggest risk takers, with a third admitting to travelling without insurance, the study also showed.
The average cost of long haul holiday insurance claims was reportedly £4,859.
For those who were insured and went on to make a claim, the biggest single reason was illness that required medical treatment (35 per cent). Almost as many (31 per cent) needed treatment for accidental injury, while one-in-five needed treatment for an injury caused by sports. Another 15 per cent needed to be repatriated to the UK because of illness and 15 per cent needed transporting by air ambulance – one of the most expensive items claimed for.