An insurance company is urging holidaymakers to read the small print when buying insurance policies to avoid the policy pitfalls.
Halifax General Insurance, one of the UK's leading travel insurance providers, emphasises that it is important people know exactly what level of cover they have and what charges are provided.
Datamonitor recently found that many holidaymakers are now getting into the habit of shopping around for the best deals. In 2002, 18 million British holidaymakers paid out £563m for travel insurance policies, 58 per cent of which were sold by travel agents and tour operators, a 33 per cent reduction on 1998's figures.
Yet, more could still be done, with Defaqto, an independent market research company, revealing that holidaymakers waste up to £235 million every year from simply buying insurance from travel agents, rather than shopping around.
The chief executive of Halifax General Insurance, Howard Posner, said: "It is important for holidaymakers to be fully in the know about insurance products because they need to choose a policy that suits them not only for their holiday, but also for the entire year."
Mr Posner concluded: "If things go wrong on holiday, the last thing that you want is to discover that you are not adequately covered, or face a hefty excess payment when you make a claim."
Among the advice offered to those seeking holiday insurance Halifax recommends that they get it as soon after the holiday has been booked as possible. That way the trip will be safeguarded if it is cancelled.
Also people should check that the policy limits for personal possessions claims are adequate to cover the value of the items being taken, as limits for baggage cover can be as low as £500 with some single article limits set at only £50.
© DeHavilland Information Services plc