When should you buy travel insurance?
Around half of UK adults have been on holiday at least once since the start of 2016 – that’s many millions of travellers enjoying a well-earned break. Perhaps it’s not surprising that the last thing most people think about when booking their holiday is buying travel insurance.
In many cases, travel insurance is a last minute purchase. MoneySuperMarket data shows that 49% buy their holiday cover as little as two days before their trip, and that a staggering 12% don’t buy any insurance whatsoever.
But traveling without adequate insurance cover could leave holidaymakers with bitter memories of their trip – some 18% of travellers (nearly 1 in 5) have had to make a claim on their insurance.
The most common travel insurance claims are for theft (28%) or injury (29%) that occurs during the holiday. But it is worth remembering that cover takes effect from the moment a trip is booked – which can be invaluable.
Get covered before you go
You should buy travel insurance the moment you book a trip. With a policy in place, you have the peace of mind of knowing you are covered should something unexpected happen that makes it necessary to cancel the holiday.
Cancellation cover protects you from the day you buy your insurance. For example, you can buy an annual policy that covers you for all trips in a 12-month period. Or you can buy a single trip policy and specify the date of your holiday, perhaps weeks or even months in the future.
Then, if you or a member of your family or group is unable to travel due to illness or injury, or you have to stay at home due to a bereavement or other unforeseen circumstance, having cancellation cover could allow you to recoup the money you have spent on travel and accommodation.
Cancellation cover doesn’t provide a pay-out if you simply decide you don’t want to go on the holiday. But it’s essential protection against the sort of unforeseen circumstances that can affect any one of us.
What type of holiday insurance is best?
The majority of people (71%) choose their travel insurance policy based on price, but there are many other factors that should also be considered.
First and foremost, the policy should provide adequate cover that reflects your needs, such as your destination, your belongings, any activities you may have planned, and any pre-existing medical conditions you or your travelling companions may have.
You can find out more by reading our guide to travel insurance.