11th May 2015
Holidaymakers heading abroad are being warned not to leave arranging their travel insurance to the last minute as they risk losing valuable cover if they unexpectedly need to cancel or cut their trip short.
Cancellation and curtailment cover is usually included as standard with travel policies. It provides financial protection if you need to cancel or curtail your holiday as a result of for example accident, illness, family bereavement or a home emergency such as fire, flood or burglary.
However, Gocompare.com has urged that travellers are only covered for events they did not know about before buying their insurance, so the sooner consumers buy a policy the more protection they have.
Research commissioned by the switching site into the nation’s foreign holiday plans found that Britons usually spend on average £1,600 on a foreign holiday, while 26% spend over £2,000. Of those who arrange travel insurance, 29% do so some time after buying their holiday and 5% leave it to the last minute.
But it also revealed that while most, at 91%, of people holidaying abroad are covered, 9% said they never buy travel insurance.
Caroline Lloyd, spokesperson for Gocompare.com, said: “In addition to covering medical expenses and lost or damaged baggage, a good travel insurance policy gives you financial protection if you need to cancel or cut your holiday short. For example if you or a close relative suffers an injury or illness which prevents you from going on holiday or if you, your partner or travelling companion is unexpectedly made redundant.
“However, cancellation insurance only covers you for events you didn’t know about before you arranged your insurance. So, if a family member becomes seriously ill just before you’re due to travel, you can’t buy travel insurance with the intention of cancelling your trip.”
Similarly, holidaymakers will be unable to obtain cover for a planned strike by airline staff.
“Although it may be several months between booking and going on your holiday, it’s a good idea to buy travel insurance soon after you book. With an average £1,600 spent on a foreign holiday, leaving sorting out insurance to the last minute – could be a costly mistake,” added Lloyd.