30% of people and nearly one-in-four women (38%) would cancel a holiday if an immediate family relative fell ill and was admitted to hospital just before they were due to travel. However, 15% also say they are more likely to apply suntan cream protection than take out travel insurance to cover their foreign trip.
These are the findings of a research survey commissioned by Europesure Travel Insurance. Europesure experts are unsurprised by these attitudes, however, with many British, expat and European travellers overlooking everyday scenarios in which they would definitely need to claim on a travel insurance policy, if they arose, to avoid financial loss.
“Around 20-30% of British travellers heading overseas typically shunned buying travel insurance before the pandemic. Covid-19 led to an upswing in travel insurance take-up but there is still a significant percentage who leave themselves exposed to loss and also heartache,” says Europesure’s sales and marketing director, Paul O’Sullivan. “The same attitudes towards going without travel insurance also exist amongst expats and European travellers in other parts of the EU and EEA.”
“Those most at-risk typically are from a younger generation, where the likelihood of not buying travel cover is much higher than in older age groups.” Without a travel insurance policy in place to protect them, should they need to cancel a holiday due to the death or illness of a travelling companion or immediate family member, or indeed themselves, a trip’s financial cost would have to be written off.
Similarly, should they be called up for obligatory jury duty and be unable to travel as intended, a traveller could only claim back the cost of their planned holiday, if they had bought a travel policy ahead of the jury summons arriving. For this reason, buying travel insurance the minute a trip is booked is extremely important.
Cover for unforeseen cancellation starts on the day the policy is purchased, regardless of when the trip is actually taking place, and ends on the last date of the policy term or the expiry of an annual multi-trip policy. Leaving the purchase of travel insurance to the last-minute actually deprives the policyholder of all the cancellation benefits that could be accruing much earlier on in their pre-holiday time frame.
Cancellation cover does not provide recompense for those who just suddenly decide not to travel as planned, or for anyone who finds they can no longer take time off work. The cover has strict guidelines when it comes to what the policy will and will not pay for, in this regard.
However, with Europesure Travel Insurance protection, available to not just UK residents but those living in the EU, EEA, Monaco or Gibraltar, the policy should pay out if you are made redundant and qualify for your country’s official redundancy payments. It will also cover cancellation because one of the travelling party is called up for emergency service, by the armed forces, defence or civil administration authorities, police force, the fire or rescue services, a public utility or the medical service.
Furthermore, it will provide cover if departure is delayed by 24 hours or more, or cancelled, due to strike, industrial action, avalanche, volcanic eruption, adverse weather conditions, or accidental or mechanical breakdown, as long as these situations were not known at time of booking the trip or holiday.
Should the insured’s house be burgled, flooded or subjected to fire just before the intended trip, meaning they need to be present to sort things out, that too is covered, as are the costs of cancellation because the intended holiday accommodation is flooded or damaged by fire. The travel policy could, alternatively, pay for the cost of alternative accommodation, to the same standard as that booked, if available.
“People often fail to appreciate the cancellation benefits of travel insurance which is why we tend to see so many of those who do buy travel insurance purchasing their policies just before they are going away,” says Europesure Travel Insurance’s sales and marketing director, Paul O’Sullivan.
“Whilst it is great that these travellers do see the need for the policy, to cover things such as emergency medical treatment overseas, personal injury and losses of items such as money, gadgets and passports, cancellation is the Cinderella item of cover that is vastly under-appreciated as a financial safety net. The attitude towards it really does need to change and the practice should become that of buying travel insurance the minute a holiday is booked.”