The small print

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Each year, reminders are issued to holidaymakers pointing out that travel insurance should be a necessary part of a holiday rather than an option. Usually it is accompanied by a story about how an unfortunate person had to pay tens of thousands in medical costs or crowdfund efforts in order to be repatriated home.

Look at travel insurance policies and the T&C’s of your holiday provider

Most of us buy insurance on just a few points the most significant of which is price. Depending on where we travel and how often we might opt for an annual policy with extra cover for going to the USA because we all know that medical bills can be expensive there. We might pay extra for adventure sports cover such as skiing and snorkelling but that is probably as far as we go.

And as for reading the small print, who really wades through all of that dry text?

Luckily some people at Which? Travel have, in some cases, done that. Primarily they were looking to see whether policies offered by airlines were as good in their cover as those that could be bought separately.

The great advantage of buying your travel insurance from a holiday provider, airline, cruise company and the like is that you can manage the whole transaction in just one go rather than having to either visit different online sites or high street suppliers. Convenience is a strong incentive for us to buy and since the price of insurance compared to a flight or holiday seems small it is so tempting to just tick the box and buy it.  

But airlines, tour operators etc make a lot of money out of what the industry calls ancillaries. Some airlines make almost a third of their profits in this way and travel insurance is one part of that revenue stream. 

But the Which? Travel team found that some airlines offer less cover or insufficient cover to that which Which? Travel suggests.

It can’t look at all policies; some websites claim to offer comparisons but usually this is just on a few features.

Just as you spend time and effort on buying the holiday that most suits you, similar time and effort  needs going into selecting the most suitable travel insurance.

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