100,000 Accident Prone British Teenagers in Jeopardy as they Holiday Uninsured

Tuesday, 01 July 2008

In light of this online insurance company swiftcover.com is warning first-time teenage holiday makers to avoid nightmare situations and ensure they have adequate travel insurance should the worst happen.

Your first parent free holiday can be a great experience, says Tina Shortle, marketing director of swiftcover.com, but because of their age and new found freedom, fledgling holiday makers can be one of the most at risk groups. We are encouraging teens to be prepared and stay safe so their holiday can be one to remember for all the right reasons.

With one in five Brits admitting to not taking out adequate travel insurance every time they travel, swiftcover.com is urging teenagers and their parents to ensure they are fully covered before they go.

To avoid accidents and stay safe, teen should try and avoid the top nightmare situations:

1. Drinking too much
45 per cent of young people admit to drinking too much on their first parent free holiday. Drinking too much in hot weather can lead to heat exhaustion, and, due to increased dehydration, hangovers will be much, much worse! Travel insurance can become invalidated if an accident happens whilst under the influence so teens should always try to moderate their drinking.

2. Dangerous Sports
Extreme and adventure sports such as bungee jumping and rafting offer an attractive adrenaline rush to teens away from home. However with treatment for a broken leg costing up to £7,000 in Europe, teenagers should always check they are fully covered by their travel insurance policy before taking part in any dangerous activity. Teen should also remember that most insurers do not cover travel on scooters and motorbikes.

3. Sun Exposure
33 per cent of young people suffered from sunburn or heat stroke last summer and 80 per cent of teens admit to not wearing sun cream when exposed to the sun. Sun exposure in teenage years can lead to serious health problems so teens should remember to keep hydrated, use adequate sun cream and stay out of the mid day sun.

4. Getting Lost
11 per cent of teenagers get lost or stranded on their first holiday without their parents. Teens should familiarise themselves with their new surroundings and take care never to wander around alone at night.

5. Drugs
Of all Brits detained overseas, 40 per cent are due to drug related offences. It's worth remembering that drugs are always unpredictable and different strengths and purities abroad mean experimenting on holiday is a massive gamble. As with drinking too much, drug taking can invalidate an insurance policy, so should the worst happen teens might find themselves uninsured.

6. Excessive Partying
Constant partying can lead to problems in hotels and complexes, and persistent travellers can even be kicked out. Keeping celebrations at the hotel to a minimum will lead to fewer damages and much happier neighbours.

7. Getting Arrested
Over 1,500 Brits are arrested yearly in Spain whilst Greek police take a particularly hard line against rowdy or indecent behaviour, with 226 arrests of UK tourists in 2006. Teens are advised to check out the local customs and laws before travelling and remember that most arrests are due to behaviour caused by excessive drinking.

8. Ending up in Hospital
Roads, beaches and hotels are the top locations where accidents are likely to occur on holiday. Teens should makes sure they are up to date on all vaccinations, follow local health and safety guidelines and take extra care in dangerous or unfamiliar situations.

swiftcover.com offers travel insurance for solo teenager travellers from £41.89 for an annual worldwide policy and £9.93 for a single European trip covering medical expenses, cancellation, personal belongings, missed departures, travel delay, personal accident, personal liability and legal expenses. For more information, visit www.swiftcover.com


Editors Notes
1.  Assuming the most typical ages for parent free holidays are 16 to 18.
     Identity and Passport Service survey results 2007: 21 per cent of people take a parent free holiday by the age of 18.
     UK Statistics Authority figures total number of 16 to 18 year olds in the UK: 2,400,000
     21 per cent of 2,400,000 = 504,000
     One in five Brits do not take adequate insurance = 100,800
2.  Moneysupermarket.com survey results 2007
3.  Identity and Passport Service survey results 2007
4.  Teenage Cancer Trust survey results 2007
5.  Identity and Passport Service survey results 2007
6.  Foreign Office statistics 2008
7.  Foreign and Commonwealth Office figures 2007
8.  Foreign and Commonwealth Office figures 2007

For press information, please contact:
Joshua Van Raalte or Jenny Duffy
Brazil (PR agency for swiftcover.com)
01865 556 000

About swiftcover:

swiftcover.com was born out of a desire to revolutionise the general insurance market by making insurance quick and easy to use.

swiftcover.com offers car and home insurance. As an online only brand, they save on overheads which allows any cost savings to go straight back to customers through value for money insurance cover. swiftcover.com's revolutionary approach to the insurance market has resulted in some prestigious awards, including the lovemoney.com award for 'Best Value for Money Car Insurer' which was won in 2012.

This powerful operating model combined with successful marketing and competitive pricing has proven to be a tremendous success.

swiftcover.com is a trading name of AXA Insurance UK Plc which forms part of the AXA Group.

About AXA

AXA UK is a part of the AXA Group. AXA is a world leader in financial protection. AXA’s operations are diverse with major operations in Western Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific area. AXA employs 120,000 staff and tied agents and, as of June 30 2006, had €1,091 billion in assets under management. AXA reported total IFRS revenues of €72 billion and IFRS underlying earnings of €3,258 million for the full year 2005. Our previous company performance is not a guide to how we may perform in the future.

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