At a time of year when many people are preparing to enjoy seasonal breaks in the UK, new research from Nationwide Building Society shows around one in ten won’t try to claw back any money if they have to cancel their trip due to illness.

With the mercury starting to fall and the rising threat of winter bugs such as flu, there is a greater chance of cancellation, meaning hotels and planned travel arrangements may need to be put on ice. Nationwide is advising people perhaps to consider paying a little extra for flexible travel to ensure illness doesn’t ruin their plans.

The research highlights a knowledge gap around travel insurance, with a third of people (33%) unaware that travel insurance can cover trips in the UK, assuming it is only able to be used when going abroad.

Despite most people being aware that travel insurance can be used domestically, only around a third (38%) said they would consider using their policy to recover their costs if they had to cancel their plans due to sickness, while around one in ten (9%) willing to write-off a cancelled trip as a bad experience instead of attempting to claim any of their money back.

Some bank or building society accounts offer services such as insurance, of these is Nationwide which costs £10 a month, provides worldwide family travel insurance, including the UK, providing your staying two nights at a commercially run premises, and covers a range of holiday hiccups – from cancelled accommodation and travel to lost luggage and theft. It will cover trips cancelled due to serious illness should a refund not be available from the provider.

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Nationwide’s Phil Smith, Head of Current Accounts, said: “One way of unpicking the fact that many would rather suffer financially than attempt to recoup their holiday expenses is to understand the resilient and hardy nature of the British. We may be quick to moan but we’re also masters of overcoming adversity. – we almost expect to get ill during the colder months, which is perhaps why we don’t consider claiming. However, it makes sense to factor this likelihood into plans at this time of year by being flexible with travel and accommodation plans.

“It is also surprising that many people are unaware travel insurance covers holidays in the UK. While we have the NHS, there are many other factors to take into consideration, such as cover for lost luggage, missed or cancelled travel and stolen items.”