Holidaymakers losing out on valuable cancellation cover by arranging their travel insurance at the last minute

25 Apr, 2017

Research from travel insurance has found that millions of holidaymakers are taking an unnecessary gamble with their holiday costs by ignoring valuable cancellation cover.

According to the comparison site, more than half (58%) of the UK holiday makers who purchased their single trip travel insurance through last year arranged their cover within a week of their holiday start date. This includes more than a fifth (27%) who arranged their cover on the actual day of departure.

Just 15% of the single trip travel insurance policies purchased last year through were bought more than a month ahead of the trip.

97%* of single trip policies provide some level of cancellation cover as standard which starts as soon as you purchase the policy, not on your date of travel. This cancellation cover provides valuable protection against events affecting you long before you even leave your home. Around three quarters of policies provide £1500 or more worth of cancellation cover.

According to statistics from the ABI, nearly one third of travel insurance claims made by UK holidaymakers are for costs related to cancellations. Insurers paid out £128m to 160,000 customers in 2015 to cover the cost of cancelling their holiday, an average of around £800 per person.

However, insurers will only consider cancellation claims for events travellers could not have known about before arranging their insurance. Therefore, the sooner they buy the policy, the more likely it is they’ll be covered if something happens between booking their holiday and going on their trip.

Cancellation cover would enable the holidaymaker to reclaim the costs of their holiday, up to the cover limit and minus any excess, should certain circumstances arise before going away. These may include a serious illness or injury affecting someone in the travelling party or a close relative, such as a parent or child, who isn’t travelling but with whom they would like to remain at home.

Having a serious fire or flood at home may be another reason why you might want to cancel or postpone your holiday, but may be covered for under your travel insurance policy. Also, you can’t usually refuse jury service because of a holiday booking, but if you didn’t know about it before you arranged your insurance you may be able to reclaim some or all of the costs of cancelling or postponing your trip.