According to a survey conducted by insurance company Hiscox, many holidaymakers are taking a chance on if their trip is covered – with one in five not knowing if they are covered or not. The research found that 19% of the 2,284 online interviews conducted between April 11 and 13 said they either don’t take out a travel insurance policy, think they are covered or just don’t know. When it comes down to understanding what travellers are covered for after losing valuables or luggage, there’s even more complacency – with 10% of respondents unsure or not having checked if they are covered.
The Hiscox survey found that 18% of holidaymakers assume that their airline or travel agent will compensate them for a flight being cancelled. However, compensation is dependent on the circumstances of the disruption. Another 21% thought a cancelled flight would be covered by a travel industry body, but this depends on the circumstances as well.
Additionally, 26% assume a travel policy from their bank account will cover them, but these policies might not include financial protection if the company providing accommodation stops trading. 13% haven’t checked their cover or are unsure of what they have if their flight is cancelled. One in ten of holidaymakers are unsure if they would be covered if there was a medical emergency.
However, holidaymakers looking for more thrills are taking even more of risk, with 36% only checking if they have travel insurance to cover their activity or they simply don’t check at all. Some of the thrill seeking activities that aren’t always covered under a travel insurance policy include white water rafting and bungee jumping. Hiscox advises that holidaymakers check their travel policy for what it covers and ensure all their planned activities are covered. Separate specialist cover may be needed, as some policies don’t cover riskier sports.
Hiscox insurance expert Colin Wallace says that recent changes to rules that govern the sale of holidays have strengthened the protection provided to consumers. However, understanding what is covered can be confusing for holidaymakers, and there’s a concerning level of complacency when it comes to British travellers ensuring they have the right insurance or if they are covered at all.
Wallace added that taking time to think travel plans through and what type of insurance is needed can help take the stress out of breaks. Extensive travel cover, like their own policy, should cover travellers for eventualities that they might not always be aware of – like travel service disruptions or the financial failure of a flight.
This follows a survey from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) revealing in October last year that one in five holidaymakers were still risking going abroad without travel insurance. Of the 2,000 consumers it questioned, 21% mistakenly believed that the government would cover the cost of their bills if something went wrong while they were on holiday.
These two studies were conducted months apart from each other, and it’s alarming to find that nothing has really changed about how holidaymakers prepare for their holidays. According to the research, the same percentage of travellers don’t know if their holiday is covered or not.
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