Avoid high excess travel insurance urges Post Office

06 November 2007
New research reveals that many UK holidaymakers are not claiming on their travel insurance policies, even when they have a valid claim.

Post Office figures show that 70 per cent of people who could claim for mishaps that occur while they are away fail to do so, with unclaimed compensation totalling more than £13.5 billion according to the report.

Head of Post Office travel services, Helen Warburton, says: “Travel insurance is designed to protect you should something go wrong. And if something goes wrong and your policy covers that scenario, you should make a claim.”

While 62 per cent said a flight had been delayed, 22 per cent had either lost property or had their property damaged and 15 per cent were involved in an accident or required medical treatment, less than a third claimed on insurance.

The most common explanation is that the excess on travel insurance policies is often higher than expected. “Holidaymakers really must wake up to cheap policies with very high excess levels. They may seem like a great deal at the time but if an excess is set at £250, it may make little or no financial sense to try and claim for things like lost luggage, flight delays, doctors’ expenses, lost cameras and more,” says Ms Warburton.

She adds: “Ultimately, that means that you end up paying twice – once for the policy and then again for anything that goes wrong.”

Meanwhile, 23 per cent said they did not want the hassle associated with making a claim, and almost one in eight did not realise they were entitled to claim. The 25 to 44 age bracket showed the greatest reluctance to claim, with more than three-quarters deciding not to do so.

Travel insurance policies are varied in terms of cover offered and with regard to excess levels. Customers should ensure the level of cover they buy is suited to their travel needs and that high excess amounts do not prevent a claim being made should a mishap occur.

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