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Quarter of holidaymakers buy cheapest travel insurance, risking big gap in cover needs

Quarter of holidaymakers buy cheapest travel insurance, risking big gap in cover needs
Kelly Newlands
Written By:
Kelly Newlands
Posted:
14/06/2024
Updated:
13/06/2024

When buying travel insurance, almost a quarter (22%) of people pick the cheapest option, which may leave them without adequate cover for their getaway.

Alongside 22% of people buying the cheapest travel insurance deal they can find, only a third check that their policy covers the cost of their holiday, luggage and contents.

That’s according to an Opinium survey of 1,000 holidaymakers by specialist travel insurance provider Multitrip.com.

It also found that only three in 10 people do ‘a lot of research’ into which travel insurance to buy, and only a third check that the cancellation limit amount would cover the cost of their holiday if they had to cancel before travelling.

A similar number of people do not check that the luggage limit amount will pay for lost or damaged luggage and contents.

And an even smaller number (17%) check that their insurance will protect them for events such as IT failures, strike action and natural disasters.

See YourMoney.com‘s guide on flight delay and cancellation rights for more information.

‘Really important to do your research’

With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to squeeze wallets, but with Brits unable to forego their holidays, cutting back on travel insurance appears to be an obvious solution.

But this comes with risk.

Having a policy without the right level of cover could mean you have to stump up big sums of cash in the case of issues like lost or damaged luggage or medical expenses, the latter of which can quickly snowball, especially in countries such as the US.

Christian Bennett, a travel expert at Multitrip.com, emphasised the importance of checking policies carefully: “It’s really important to do your research when buying travel insurance to make sure that you put in place the right cover for you.

“Ask yourself if the baggage and cancellation cover is enough for what you need. Make sure that the activities you plan to do, such as diving, parasailing [or] water skiing, are included or can be added to the policy.”

Such activities can come with additional costs if they result in accident or injury.

In April, YourMoney.com reported that the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) had urged holidaymakers to take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy to avoid “financial ruin” from unexpected costs like requiring an air ambulance or medical care – a particular risk if you’re undertaking an activity-filled holiday.

Consider travel disruptions

Other problems such as travel disruptions can still be costly, as well as inconvenient, and may have a knock-on impact on subsequent legs of your journey.

The UK’s ASLEF union, which represents railway workers, launched a fresh round of strikes and overtime bans over April and May that caused nationwide disruption. The union is yet to announce more strike action for this year, but given that it still hasn’t come to an agreement with the Government, further travel disruption may be on the cards for passengers.

There were also reports of strikes across airports in the UK and Europe during the spring.

So, if your holiday this year involves any sort of public transport, it’s a good idea to have a travel insurance policy in place that will cover it, as Bennett urges travellers: “If you’re concerned about strikes and delays, include Travel Disruption cover in your policy for additional peace of mind.”

He also issued a reminder about ensuring you have travel insurance cover for small but essential electronic items like mobile phones and tablets:

“Gadgets are an essential part of people’s travelling kit. The value of all these gadgets can easily exceed the protection offered by most standard travel insurance policies,” he warned.

Related: Uswitch launches travel eSIM to battle hefty roaming charges