The value of claims does not tell the whole story, as the total is thought to represent around only 80% of lost, stolen or damaged money or possessions belonging to tourists in the country – as many heading off to the sun do not have travel insurance.
The figures come from Sainsbury’s, who analysed travel insurance claims over recent years.
The review revealed claims for lost or stolen money soared by 43% between 2009 and 2010
Spain accounts for 27.6% of all travel insurance claims received by the firm – followed by France (7.8%), the USA (5.7%), Italy (4.1%), and Turkey (3.7%).
British tourists make travel insurance claims worth £28 million every year, while uninsured losses probably total around another £7 million, explained the firm.
Spokesman David Barrett said: “Lost or stolen money, baggage and possessions are a common problem for holidaymakers.
“Over the past three years the average claim value for lost or stolen money was around £170. Considering how many expensive items are stowed in baggage, like watches or cameras, incidents of lost or stolen baggage can be expensive for someone without travel insurance.
“Good travel cover does not need to be expensive. Holidaymakers should shop around to get a competitive price and adequate levels of cover before they even pack their suitcase or organise their travel money. If they don’t, they could end up badly out of pocket.”
Meanwhile, independent financial analysis firm Defaqto has found 24% of cat and dog insurance policies provide no cover for overseas travel.
The firm urges pet owners to check any pet policy to make sure overseas cover is provided to avoid hefty vet bills.
Mike Powell of Defaqto said: “Many of us take pets abroad on holidays or extended stays. It is important for owners to ensure they have adequate insurance in place to cover their pet if taking them overseas.”