Brits risk hefty travel expenses due to under-insurance
Price comparison site MoneySupermarket.com found that it is more cost effective to opt for an annual premium if a family plans to travel abroad more than once a year, especially to long haul destinations.
Bob Atkinson, holiday insurance expert at MoneySupermarket, said: “There are hundreds of policy options available to travellers; however, the differences between cover levels provided can be vast and there is a danger of being underinsured if you choose the wrong one.
“You should always check that the policy you want offers adequate cover for instances such as cancellation, medical expenses and baggage.
“Excess levels are also important as sometimes the more basic the policy means more excess charges in the event of a claim, this in turn could make a claim less worthwhile.”
For example, a family can cover themselves for one week in Florida for £31.29, but worldwide annual multi-trip cover for the same family is available for under £50.This includes winter sports cover and meets the minimum recommended levels of cover.
Single trip cover for Europe is slightly cheaper; cover for one week in Spain costs £10.29.
However, MoneySupermarket says that if you have plans to travel to Europe more than a couple of times over a year then a multi-trip policy would be more cost effective.
Atkinson continued: “Ensuring that you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is also essential when travelling within the EU.
“This will entitle you to state healthcare at a reduced cost, or in some instances for free. Each member of your family will need to own a card in order to be covered however this should be used alongside your insurance policy, not as a replacement.”
Recent MoneySupermarket research also showed the typical value of travelers luggage is £1,440 per person – or £32bn for all Brits travelling abroad.
The research found people rarely travel with the correct level of insurance for their possessions.
Among the holidaymakers with travel insurance who knew what they were covered for, only one in five had the right level for their belongings; a third were underinsured – leaving themselves at risk – and half were over insured.
This compares to 35% of those surveyed who assumed that they would be over insured.
Bob Atkinson said: “Travelers should take out cover as soon as they have booked a trip; it’s not just possessions you need the right level of cover for, but cancellation and medical expenses too.
“Scour the small print of the insurance policy before you buy, and remember the cheapest policy might not the best value for you.”