Why is it Best to Buy Travel Insurance?

When the excitement of exotic locations and new adventures beckons, it’s easy to forget the less glamorous details of travelling – like why it’s best to buy travel insurance. Recent research from Tesco Bank provides a startling snapshot of the risky habits of British holidaymakers when it comes to insuring their trips. With surprising numbers flying uninsured, the need for a deeper understanding and awareness becomes paramount.

Key Points Breakdown

  • A significant 31% of holidaymakers have ventured abroad without any travel insurance, a figure which jumps to 49% among the 18-34 age bracket.
  • While value for money and coverage extent are prime considerations, surprising reasons like forgetfulness and perceived short trip durations contribute to people deciding not to buy travel insurance.
  • Single trip policies dominate the travel insurance landscape, accounting for a massive 86% in 2022, as per Tesco Bank’s analysis.
  • Pre-paid travel cards are not only a budget-friendly choice but, when combined with offers from institutions like Tesco Bank, can lead to added travel insurance discounts.
  • Comprehensive pre-travel preparations, encompassing everything from itinerary planning to health precautions, can significantly elevate the quality of a holiday.
  • Defaqto’s star ratings provide travellers with an unbiased metric to gauge the quality and comprehensiveness of travel insurance policies.

Younger Generations Take More Risks

Among the general population, 31% have jetted off on holidays without any insurance cover. However, when the lens is focused on the age group of 18-34, this figure sees a significant rise, with almost half (49%) of them admitting to having set off without an insurance cushion.

Why Don’t Holidaymakers Buy Travel Insurance?

Holiday drawn on the sandy beach

The reasons why many decide not to buy travel insurance:

ReasonPercentage of Respondents
Don’t see the worth21%
Short holidays16%
Simply forgot14%

A smaller but still concerning group, accounting for 7%, divulged that they never even consider the need to buy travel insurance for their trips, a habit that could prove costly in the case that they are faced with unexpected events.

8 Key Components of a Travel Insurance Policy

Alex Cross, the Insurance Director at Tesco Bank, emphasises the importance of insuring holidays. “With summer holidays in full swing,” he says, “it’s vital travellers don’t overlook the value of having some form of travel insurance in place.” Beyond the simple act of insuring, Alex also highlights the myriad benefits it offers, from coverage for unforeseen cancellations to mishaps during the trip.

For those unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of a travel insurance policy, understanding its key elements is paramount to ensure you’re adequately covered and getting the most ‘bang for your buck’. Here’s a break down of 8 of the key components of such policies:

  1. Medical Coverage: One of the prime reasons people opt for travel insurance, this covers medical emergencies that might arise during the trip. It can include everything from minor injuries to severe cases requiring hospitalisation or even medical evacuation back to one’s home country.
  2. Trip Cancellation and Interruption: Life is unpredictable. If you’re forced to cancel or cut short your trip due to unforeseen circumstances, this feature can reimburse prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses.
  3. Baggage Protection: Whether it’s a lost suitcase or a stolen backpack, having baggage protection can reimburse the cost of your personal belongings.
  4. Travel Delay: Sometimes, trips don’t go as planned, and flights can be delayed or rescheduled. This component compensates for the additional accommodation, food, and transportation costs borne due to these unforeseen delays.
  5. Personal Liability: Accidents can happen, and sometimes they might be your fault. If you injure someone or damage their property, personal liability can cover the financial repercussions.
  6. Repatriation: In worst-case scenarios involving severe accidents or death, repatriation ensures the insured individual is transported back to their home country.
  7. Adventure Activities and Sports: Not all travel insurance policies automatically cover sports and adventure activities, especially high-risk ones like skiing or paragliding. If your holiday involves a bit of adrenaline, ensure your policy covers these pursuits.
  8. Exclusions: Not really a “feature,” but crucial to understand. These are conditions or scenarios where the insurance doesn’t offer coverage. It’s always wise to read the fine print to know what these exclusions are, so there are no nasty surprises later.

Remember when selecting a policy, travellers must ensure it aligns with their specific needs. If you’re planning an adventurous skiing trip, for instance, a standard policy might not suffice. Always scrutinise what’s included and what’s not.

Deciphering Travel Insurance

For many travellers, choosing the right travel insurance can be a daunting task, given the plethora of options available.

Defaqto, an independent researcher of financial products, can help. Renowned for its star ratings, Defaqto examines and rates various travel insurance policies based on their features and benefits.

A higher star rating typically indicates a more comprehensive policy. When considering travel insurance options, referring to Defaqto’s star ratings can provide an unbiased and clear insight into the quality and comprehensiveness of a policy.

What Do People Look For When They Buy Travel Insurance?

holiday luggage

According to research from Tesco Bank, when holidaymakers do decide to insure their trips, their choices are influenced by several factors. A significant 40% make decisions based on the value for money, while a close 38% prioritise the coverage extent.

FactorPercentage of Respondents
Value for money40%
Extent of cover38%

Travel Insurance Booking Patterns and Their Implications

While it’s encouraging that 22% of travellers buy travel insurance as soon as their holiday is booked, the other end of the spectrum brings worries.

About 10% admit to waiting until just a week before they fly. This procrastination places them in a vulnerable position, especially if unforeseen events demand a trip cancellation. Interestingly, a peak of 28% among the age group 55 and above show more caution, insuring themselves immediately upon booking.

Whilst the majority of travellers prefer to book single trip travel insurance, if you’re travelling multiple times in a year it is certainly worth considering multi-trip insurance.

Pre-Travel Preparations: Beyond the Basics

Desert island holiday sand and sea

Getting to buy travel insurance is key but there are more pre-travel essentials to tackle to ensure a smooth, hassle-free trip. Make sure you consider the following further 8 key pre-travel steps:

  1. Research and Itinerary Planning: Before embarking on your trip, dive deep into researching your destination. This includes understanding local customs, identifying must-visit sites, and even having a basic idea of the local language. Creating a flexible itinerary helps you make the most of your trip.
  2. Vaccinations and Health Precautions: Depending on your destination, certain vaccinations might be mandatory. Check with local travel advisories and schedule any necessary appointments well in advance. Also, pack a basic medical kit with essentials like painkillers, antiseptics, and any prescribed medications.
  3. Local Sim Cards and Connectivity: In today’s digital age, staying connected is crucial. Research about acquiring a local SIM card for your destination or explore international roaming packages with your current provider.
  4. Backup Essential Documents: Make copies (both digital and physical) of essential documents like your passport, insurance policy, travel tickets, and any visas. This ensures you’re prepared for any unforeseen situations where originals might get misplaced.
  5. Pack Smart: Beyond just clothes, consider packing essential gadgets, chargers, travel adaptors, and any specific gear pertinent to your holiday activities. And always remember to check the baggage allowance of the airline you’re flying with.
  6. Pre-paid travel cards: These cards allow travellers to load a specific amount of money before their journey, helping to manage budgets efficiently and avoid unexpected bank fees. Moreover, using pre-paid travel cards often gives a more favourable exchange rate compared to converting cash at tourist hotspots.
  7. Local Currency and Payment Modes: While pre-paid travel cards are advantageous, carrying a small amount of local currency for immediate expenses upon arrival is recommended. It’s also worth checking if international credit cards are widely accepted in your destination.
  8. Emergency Contacts: Jot down important numbers like the local embassy or consulate, emergency services, and even local contacts if you have any. It’s also helpful to inform a close family member or friend about your travel plans.

So while the pull of adventure and relaxation drives many to explore new destinations, the backdrop of meticulous planning ensures that experiences remain joyful, enriched, and free from unnecessary stressors.

Safe travels, and here’s to many memorable journeys and holidays ahead!

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