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Holidaymakers warned to buy travel insurance early

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Over a third of British holidaymakers delay buying travel insurance, leaving them fully exposed if they need to unexpectedly cancel their trip.

According to research by, 34% do not buy cover at the point of booking their holiday meaning they miss out on financial protection if they need to cancel or curtail their plans.

Cancellation and curtailment cover is usually included as standard with travel policies. However, travellers are only covered for events they didn’t know about before buying their insurance.

The study found that Brits usually spend on average £1,600 on a foreign holiday, with 26% spending over £2,000.

Of those who arrange travel insurance, 29% leave buying a policy some while after buying their holiday and 5% leave it to the last minute.

While most (91%) people holidaying abroad are covered by travel insurance, 9% say they never buy travel insurance.

Of those buying insurance, 52% say that they shop around for a good deal using a comparison website, a quarter are covered by their bank account, 12% buy insurance through their travel agent and 11% their holiday company.

Caroline Lloyd, spokesperson for Travel Insurance, said: “Often overlooked, holiday cancellation insurance is one of the key benefits of travel insurance. 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, you’ll be unable to obtain cover for a planned strike by airline staff. Insurers check when you could have first become aware of the potential disruption to your holiday before deciding whether your claim is genuine.

“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.”

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