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Popularity of last-minute holidays fuels insurance problems

The popularity of last-minute holidays has fuelled the number of tourists travelling abroad without insurance, according to research from Sainsbury's Travel Insurance.Sainsbury's found that around 8.8 million people or 18 per cent of the adult population will book their holiday two weeks or less before they travel in order to save money but that one in five (19 per cent) will not have purchased travel insurance. The study estimates that as many as three million people travel abroad every year without insurance, and put themselves at risk as a result.The Foreign Office advises that travel insurance is essential in case of illness or an accident, lost or stolen property and delayed or cancelled flights and warns that costs can run into the thousands in case of an emergency.Steve Johnson, head of travel insurance for Sainsbury's said: "Greater use of the internet and growing competition in the travel industry means that there are many holiday bargains to be had. "This is great for holidaymakers, but without appropriate insurance in place a holiday can soon turn into a nightmare if disaster strikes. "The stress and cost involved in sorting out any potential problems could run into hundreds or thousands of pounds, surely cancelling out any money saved on a late deal."

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