Holiday in the sun

Startling figures from Aviva reveal that just 25% of travellers take out holiday insurance at the time they book their holiday yet that insurer alone received 30,000 claims for cancelled trips last year.

What happened to the remaining 75% of travellers?  How many of them lost money when their plans were cancelled or put on hold because of family bereavements, illness or other circumstances?

Research shows that 32% of people wait to buy their holiday insurance until one month before they travel and 10% of travellers never buy insurance, leaving themselves open to the potential of huge medical bills or losing their holidays altogether.

Last year Aviva paid out over £19.2m to UK travellers whose holidays had to be cancelled before they started. The figures also revealed that the average cancellation claim was £640, the company received over 60 claims for cancelled trips worth over £10,000 and the highest claim was for £26,000.

However, Aviva research also shows that only 40% of people say they always take out travel cover when going on family holidays and a further 20% say they only take out cover when travelling abroad.

Ensure you have holiday insurance

Commenting on the findings, Adam Beckett, director of products at Aviva’s UK general insurance business, said: “As the peak holiday season approaches, it’s important holidaymakers make sure they have enough cover in place if the worst happens and they’re not able to travel.

“Many travellers assume holiday insurance just protects them while they’re are away and they might not take out cover until just before they jet off for sunnier climes. While we hope the worst never happens, it’s a sad reality that sometimes our plans have to be changed or cancelled due to illness or other unforeseen events. Taking out holiday insurance at the same time as booking the holiday will avoid any unnecessary and added stress if holidaymakers aren’t able to travel.”

To help holidaymakers make the most of their break away, Aviva has put together the following travel insurance tips:

  • Be protected from the start: take out your holiday insurance policy when you book your holiday
  • Make sure you inform your insurer of any pre-existing medical conditions
  • Check you have the right documentation before you go and check visa/passport requirements. Recent changes to entry requirements in America mean travellers without biometric passports could be left stranded and denied entry to the country
  • If you have personal belongings cover as part of your home insurance you may not need additional baggage cover on your travel insurance
  • Check before you go – visit and follow the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for your holiday destination