More than 70% of Latvians don't buy travel insurance when travelling to neighboring countries

21 September 2017 — Vlad BOLDIJAR
About 72% of Latvians which are travelling to neighboring countries - Estonia or Lithuania, do not buy travel insurance, according to a survey made by the Latvian non-life insurer BALTA, member of the PZU Group.

Insurer's representatives pointed out that most of the respondents (61%) consider that travel insurance is not necessary. Almost 17% of them said they had forgot to buy the policy, while about 8% consider that nothing bad can happen to them. At the same time, residents of the Latvian capital Riga are most insurance-conscious, 56% of them buying a travel policy before travelling to Lithuania or Estonia.

"Most Latvians are not considering Lithuania or Estonia as foreign countries. Thus, they forget not only to buy a travel policy, but also to have with them a valid personal identification document", said Sandra PIETKEVICA, Head of the Risk Department, BALTA.

The insurer noted that the city breaks to Estonia and Lithuania "are becoming more and more popular. Statistics of the Lithuanian Tourist State Department and the Estonian Tourist Board indicate that year to year the interest of Latvia's inhabitants in the neighboring countries as travel destination is increasing". For example, last year, the interest of Latvian residents to travel in Lithuania increased by 15% y-o-y, while in case of Estonia, the same indicator was up by 11% y-o-y.

At the same time, "this year, the number of travel insurance claims registered by BALTA in neighboring countries, has increased by seven times. Regardless of this fact, travel insurance is still unexpectedly purchased", said Sandra PIETKEVICA.

The Balta's representative, is convinced that the main reasons for this situation are the lack of information about the necessity of insurance, misconceptions about insurance costs and the frivolous attitude of citizens towards their safety: "Most people are convinced that a insurance policy is too expensive (...) The cost of an insurance policy to travel to Lithuania or Estonia at the end of the week is only two or three euro".