Finding effective travel insurance policies

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The laws of the Medes and the Persians says that insurance companies are good at taking your money and not so good about handing it out when there is a problem.

It is more important than ever to have comprehensive travel insurance. But it doesn’t seem available unless you bank with barclays or HSBC!

Some very timely research from Which? has proven what many people have suspected.

Most travel insurance policies fail to give full protections from problems caused by coronavirus.

Which? analysed 263 different policies and found only two gave travellers all-round financial protection and those had issues for most people unless you banked with HSBC or Barclays.

Few insurance companies did not offer some level of coronavirus cover but provision in the case of local lockdowns or if you were contacted by the trace and test teams and had to self-isolate were not generally covered.

Take, for example, someone wanted to go to an amber country. There are insurance policies that would cover you but you need to check the small print. Most will only cover you if the FCDO issues a “don’t travel” notice.

If you don’t bank with Barclays and HSBC and have all the extras that they require to have how can the rest of us get adequate coverage?

The answer is that you can’t easily find it.

Could a broker “create” a policy for you that would cover everything that you require?

Yes is the answer but it will cost because although insurance is cover against measured risks, coronavirus has taught the travel insurance industry that some contingencies are difficult to measure. That, I suppose, is why insurers are steering away from providing all-round cover even though – as Which? points out – some claim to do so.

On an unrelated but similar point, I have a cruise booked in a couple of years’ time as a retirement present and I have had great difficulty in getting a policy that will cover me now for cancellation and later on for the cruise. One broker said to me that the solution was to buy annual travel insurance policies and stay with the same company until the cruise is finished. That would cost more than the deposit so guess what? I took out no policy and decided it would be cheaper to forego the deposit and get insurance the day before sailing!

Anyway, back to coronavirus protection policies.

Just about Travel will approach companies to see if they are willing to set up an all-embracing policy and if we find one at a less than exorbitant price, we will happily pass the news on.

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