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Leaving travel insurance to the last minute could cost you dear

Written by: Emma Lunn
One in four Brits book travel insurance just hours before jetting off, leaving them at risk of losing money if they need to cancel their holiday.

More than a quarter of Brits (28%) don’t book their travel insurance until the day they’re due to depart, according to Go.Compare Travel Insurance.

The price comparison site found that lone travellers are the least likely to book policies well in advance.

Go.Compare reviewed travel insurance policies purchased during January 2023 and found that, of those who were buying a policy for a forthcoming trip 28% bought it on the day of travel. A further 19% had taken out a policy during the week leading up to their trip while another 24% booked it within the month of departure. Only a quarter (24%) of people had taken out their policy within six months of travel.

Families proved to be the most organised travellers, typically buying their policy 64 days before jetting off. Couples were also fairly well organised, typically buying their policies 52 days in advance, while lone travellers tended to leave just 31 days between purchasing their policy and going away.

Ceri McMillan, travel insurance spokesperson for Go.Compare, said: “While some trips are unavoidably short notice, it is concerning that so many Brits are procrastinating before purchasing their policy.

“You can buy travel insurance right up until the point you leave home for your trip, and there’s no shame in doing that, but getting a policy in place early doors can be a game-changer – whether you’re going overseas or staying in the UK.

“Too many people think of travel insurance as something that covers problems while you’re away, but accidents and illness can strike anyone at any time. Cancellation is one of the main reasons people claim on a travel insurance policy. In those instances, having booked insurance right after you started paying for your trip could save you considerable money and stress.

“In some cases, you may have to wait for a period of 24, 48, or even 72 hours for the policy to begin. These waiting periods are there to prevent you from booking insurance to cover incidents that have already happened, like a flight being cancelled or you falling ill, so  you won’t be covered until that period ends.”

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