Half-term Holiday Mishaps Sees Medical Expenses Top The List Of Uk Insurance Claims

28 May 2011

New research from Sainsbury’s Credit Cards reveals that mishaps and unforeseen events in the half-term break can cost holidaymakers an average of £390(1) . As households across the UK prepare for their half term holidays Sainsbury’s Finance warns people not to head off without adequate insurance, otherwise it could be an expensive break for those that incur additional costs as a result of not being covered.

According to analysis of Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance data, the most common summer half-term travel claim over the last three years has been for medical expenses (40%), followed by lost or damaged property or baggage (22%) and cancellation (20%). And when it comes to unexpected costs, cancelled holidays top the list as the most expensive half-term holiday hit, with the typical bill reaching nearly £800.

Table of top three most common claims:


Type of claim As a percentage of total claims Average claim cost
Medical Expenses 40% £456.26
Lost or Damaged Property / Baggage 22% £143.36
Cancellation 20% 795.54


Stuart McKeggie, Head of Sainsbury’s Credit Cards said:  “Families want to make the most of the school holidays and the May half-term is a perfect opportunity to take a relaxing break in the sun; however it is vital that you don’t head off without travel insurance. You can never predict what will happen on holiday – whether you’re in the UK or abroad – so having peace of mind that you’ll have financial assistance should the unthinkable happen, such as a medical emergency or theft, is invaluable.”

The summer half-term holiday destinations outside the UK that have seen the greatest number of insurance claims from Britons over the past three years are Spain, followed by Turkey and Greece.

The supermarket bank is also urging holidaymakers to think about how they’ll protect their hard-earned spending money.

Stuart added: “As well as covering yourself for unforeseen events and additional costs, holidaymakers need to ensure they think carefully about how they’ll manage their spending money. It is safer not to carry a lot of cash around with you, but it’s also important to have peace of mind that you can access money should you need it.
“The best way to do this is to have a credit card that doesn’t charge you fees for withdrawing cash, or foreign exchange fees such as our Gold Credit Card which also includes world-wide travel insurance for the whole family.”

Sainsbury’s Gold Credit Card has a number of attractive benefits that can be used when both at home in the UK, or abroad, including no foreign exchange transaction fees, interest-free cash withdrawals (if the whole balance is paid in full and on time each month) (2) and world-wide family travel insurance(3) . A low rate of 9.94% pa (variable) is available on purchases and customers benefit from double Nectar points on their Sainsbury’s shopping in-store, online and in petrol filling stations(4) . The card carries a fee of just £5 per month.

The extra Nectar points mean shoppers will receive the equivalent to 2% off their Sainsbury’s shopping bill, when used in conjunction with a Nectar card.,

To find out more about the Sainsbury’s Gold card call 0800 313 4609 or log onto or pick up a leaflet in your Sainsbury’s supermarket.  Customers applying for a Sainsbury’s card will need to have their Nectar card ready when they apply.

– Ends –
For further information, please contact:
Ian Morris / Sophie Woodcock
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7282 1037/1072

Notes to editors:
(1)Analysis of Sainsbury’s Finance Travel Insurance claims data over these summer half term dates: 29th May – 6th June 2010 (inclusive); 23rd May – 31st May 2009 (inclusive); 24th May – 1st June 2008 (inclusive)
(2) Assuming balance is paid in full and on time (46 days – interest rate reverts to 24.9% pa variable)
(3) Worldwide travel insurance covers up to two adults and six children including travel to the USA, Personal Baggage, Winter Sports and Independent Traveller cover. Travel insurance policy is worth up to £250. No foreign exchange fees apply, assuming balance is paid in full and on time (46 days – interest rate reverts to 24.9% pa variable)
(4) 9.94% pa variable on purchases and balance transfers – 20.1% representative variable which includes £5 monthly fee.  Credit subject to status to UK residents aged 18 or over. Minimum monthly repayment is EITHER (a) 1% of balance plus CCRC premiums, interest, monthly fee and default sums; OR (b) 2.25% of balance; OR (c) £5 (or full balance if less than £5); whichever is more, plus any amount over the credit limit.

Sainsbury’s Finance Travel Insurance is administered by FirstAssist Insurance Services Limited and underwritten by Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) PLC. Both companies are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Sainsbury’s Finance:
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Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Finance provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times.  Our products consistently top Best Buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.
Sainsbury’s Finance recent awards include Best Overall Online Provider, Best Direct Personal Loans Provider, Best Online Credit Card Provider, Best Online Life Insurance Provider at the Your Money Awards 2010.

Sainsbury’s Finance is a joint venture between J.Sainsbury plc and Lloyds Banking Group.

For further information and general Sainsbury’s Finance enquiries customers can call the freephone number on 0500 40 50 60 or visit