Travel insurance vital for foreign travel, home holidays and going nowhere!

21 August 2008 / by Rachel Mason
Travel insurance should not be seen as an optional extra but an 'essential must-have' according to ASDA Financial Services, while Legal and General warns that cover is still needed for holidays in the UK as well as trips abroad.

This bank holiday weekend, thousands of Brits are expected to jet off to foreign soil for a few days, or pack up the car for a long break in the UK, but statistics show that one in four still risk taking a trip with no travel insurance.

According to Gideon Ingham of ASDA Financial Services, travel insurance is a must have for any holiday, and with baggage handlers and check-in staff at Gatwick threatening to stage two 24 hour strikes, with one of Bank Holiday Monday, cover is needed even if you don't actually go anywhere.

"Taking out adequate travel insurance shouldn't be seen as an optional extra….it's an essential must-have," he said.

"Being delayed at the airport is just one of the risks travellers face when they go on holiday and aside from the inconvenience, the last thing we want is for them to be out of pocket too."

And Legal and General recommend that holiday makers check their cover for holiday luggage even if they are staying in the UK.

The insurer estimates that the value of the luggage and its contents for a family of four travelling on holiday whether abroad or in the UK could be more than £3,000, while holidaymakers planning a ‘last minute' weekend break could have over £1,000 worth of belongings each.

"It's surprising just how quickly the value of the contents of our luggage adds up," said Elaine Parkes, head of technical services at Legal & General insurance.

"It's easy to forget the actual value of the suitcase or bag itself, and the accumulated value of all its contents may not be fully appreciated, particularly if you like designer accessories!

"Holidaymakers should check that they have appropriate cover in place for both their holiday plans and their personal belongings before travelling."

Ms Parkes says that it is possible to include personal baggage for a holiday under a travel policy or the personal possessions cover under a home insurance policy and advises holidaymakers to keep details of their insurance cover in their hand luggage.

For those who are planning a break this weekend but haven't yet got themselves covered, Tesco Travel Insurance has a special offer for the Bank Holiday.

Tesco has reduced the cost of its travel insurance for short breaks so that cover for travel to any European destination for up to three days, including travelling days, now starts at £5.40 per person.

Rachel Cutler, head of Tesco Travel Insurance says "Short city breaks to Europe are very popular as last minute package deals are readily available. It's great that people want to make the most of the Bank Holiday but it's vital that travellers remember to buy travel insurance. Even if you're away for just a few days it's better to be protected."

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