Are you missing out on valuable holiday cancellation cover? To help make sure you aren’t, don’t wait until the last minute to buy single trip travel insurance.
As with all insurance, it’s important to understand what you need cover for and what cover available for what price.
In the case of insurance for your holiday, you need to know what your travel insurance covers.
According to research from Gocompare.com travel insurance, over half of the UK holiday makers who purchased their single trip travel insurance through them last year arranged their cover within a week of their holiday start date.
And many actually arranged their cover on the day of departure.
According to Defaqto Matrix research carried out in March this year, 97% of single trip policies provide some level of cancellation cover as standard which starts as soon as you purchase the policy, not on your date of travel.
This cancellation cover provides valuable protection against events affecting you long before you even leave your home.
According to statistics from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), nearly one third of travel insurance claims made by UK holidaymakers are for costs related to cancellations, with an average claim of around £800 per person.
Be aware though that insurers will only consider cancellation claims for events travellers could not have known about before arranging their insurance.
Clearly, the sooner the policy is bought, the more likely you’ll be covered if something happens between booking your holiday and going away.
Cancellation cover enables you to reclaim the costs of your holiday, up to the cover limit and less any excess, should certain circumstances arise before going away.
Circumstances included may include a serious illness or injury affecting someone in the travelling party or a close relative, such as a parent or child, who isn’t travelling but with whom you would like to remain at home.
Having a serious fire or flood at home may be another reason why you might want to cancel or postpone your holiday, but may be covered for under your travel insurance policy.
Interestingly, you can’t usually refuse jury service because of a holiday booking, but if you didn’t know about it before you arranged your insurance you may be able to reclaim some or all of the costs of cancelling or postponing your trip.
Alex Edwards, from Gocompare.com Travel Insurance said: “Arrange your travel cover very soon after you book your holiday rather than leaving it to the last minute and you’ll benefit from any cancellation cover provided by your policy as soon as you buy it.
“Although it’s wise to arrange your travel insurance very soon after booking your holiday, don’t immediately buy your holiday company’s or travel agents’ packaged cover. They’re usually more expensive than those you can find offering similar cover for a lower premium by shopping around online.”
Diane Ray, MoneyHighStreet.com commented: “Buying your single trip travel insurance as soon as you can is sound advice. As with all insurance you need to understand what cover you need and what cover you can get at what price.
“Be careful not to make assumptions and assume you know what’s included.
“For example many people assume their travel insurance will cover extreme sports or a cruise.
“Often this is not the case. Our article ‘Our Top 5 Travel Insurance Myths‘ is well worth a read to help you understand what may or may not be covered.
“Take to time to check out what’s on offer, via Gocompare.com or other comparison sites.
“Don’t just focus on the cost, look at the key facts about the policy on offer and make sure the cover and the limits set for the various parts of cover meet your needs.
“For example, if you’ve spent some £3000 per person on your travel and hotel accommodation, if you buy a policy that has a cancellation limit of £1,500 per person, less an excess, if you do have to cancel you’ll be considerably out of pocket.
“Be aware too that if you are planning multiple trips in a year you may want to consider annual travel insurance.
“You may save money doing so, rather than buying multiple lots of single trip cover.
“If you do opt for annual travel insurance, the policy start should be set as the date you purchase it, or close to it, assuming you have booked or are about to book it so that you are covered should you need to cancel your trip.”