Cancelled holidays costing millions

26 May, 2016

Aviva has revealed it paid out over £19.2 million last year to UK holidaymakers whose holidays had to be cancelled before they started.

Despite the number of holiday cancellations, just a quarter of would-be holidaymakers take out insurance at the same time as booking their trip.  A third (32%), buy it the month before their trip and 10% of travellers don’t bother with  insurance at all, leaving  themselves at risk from hefty medical bills or losing their holidays altogether.

Across its travel insurance business, the insurer received 30,000 claims from disappointed travellers whose holiday plans had to be put on hold due to family bereavements, illness or other circumstances.  The data also revealed:

  • The average cancellation claim was £640
  • It received over 60 claims for cancelled trips worth over £10,000
  • 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.

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 travel insurance just protects them while they’re on holiday 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 travel 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 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