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Dubai: Financial advisors have said time and again that people should obtain an insurance before hopping on a plane to visit another country.

However, a new research found that almost seven in ten UAE residents go on holiday or business trip without investing in any kind of travel insurance.

This puts them at risk of having to pay out of their own pockets any hotel and meal expenses if their flight gets cancelled, or worse, they could end up paying thousands of dirhams in medical bills if they suddenly fall ill or get injured while abroad.

A study conducted among UAE respondents found that 65.4 per cent of people in the country do not take out travel insurance before setting off. That’s more than the number of people (60 per cent) who did not buy a travel insurance last year.

“This suggests that the number of people flying without coverage has slightly increased since 2017,” said Jonathan Rawling, chief financial officer of yallacompare, which conducted the survey.

Travelling is a part of life for expatriates in the UAE. According to Euromonitor International data, holidaymakers in UAE are expected to increase their spending on airfares, food, hotels, museums and park tickets to more than $8 billion (Dh29.3 billion) by 2020.

However, while they’re willing to spend a lot of money on air tickets, many flyers are not interested in buying a travel insurance because they think it’s too expensive and that it doesn’t serve any purpose.

In fact, 21.2 per cent of those who don’t bother taking out an insurance said the high cost of insurance is putting them off, while a greater number (25.7 per cent) believe there’s no point in investing in one.

However, a simple travel policy can cost just as little as Dh81 and provide insurance coverage for one week. “That’s fairly small amount relative to the cost of an entire holiday, including flights and hotels,” said Rawling.

“That small outlay will offer financial protection in the event of any travel-related upset. ”

Rawling said that with a travel insurance, flyers will enjoy financial protection in the event of lost baggage, cancelled flight, accident or any related unplanned expense. Policy holders will also enjoy assistance from a dedicated claims officer, whose job is to guide the customer through any issues and provide assistance where possible.

"Not having proper coverage for medical care on holiday is a big risk that you take by not being covered by travel insurance. Most policies offer medical coverage outside the United States and Canada for a very small outlay, and will certainly provide financial protection in the event of a life-threatening illness on injury," Rawling told Gulf News.