'Useless' travel insurance policies condemned

The UK’s largest high street insurance retailer, Swinton, with 455 high street branches, is warning holidaymakers against purchasing cheap travel insurance policies that could leave them stranded when things go wrong abroad.

Bargain breaks are easy to find with cheap flights, budget accommodation and unusual destinations driving down the cost of getting away from it all. However, savvy travellers should not cut corners when it comes to insurance.

Cut-price cover may save pounds in the short term, but more and more holidaymakers are finding they are not insured when it comes to making a claim.

The Financial Ombudsman reported that one in eight complaints they receive are connected with travel insurance, with many holidaymakers finding that they are not adequately covered when making a claim.

The rise in price comparison websites has placed more emphasis than ever before on quoting the cheapest price first, but this is not necessarily the best level of cover. 

Swinton reports that the majority of extremely cheap policies fail to cover people for some of the most common types of claims including baggage cover, cancellation, loss of money and passport and travel delay.  According to Swinton, these inadequate travel insurance policies are often only exposed when customers try to make a claim and fails.

Head of insurer development Chris Collings says: "There are a raft of cheap holiday insurance providers in the internet, and people can easily pick up single trip cover for just a few pounds. People need to be aware that these sorts of policies provide little or no cover, and are literally useless as soon as you come to claim. It may seem like a good idea at the time to take out a cheap policy but if things go wrong, it could end up being very costly in the long run. Swinton advises people to consider taking out an annual travel policy that fully covers all of their needs while they are away."

Swinton's annual travel insurance policy starts from around £30, and covers medical expenses up to £10 million, personal liability of £2 million, £25,000 personal accident and £5,000 cancellation cover.

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