By Shane Scully
A recent travel insurance survey is warning consumers to check that their insurance policy is adequate for their needs. This survey found that consumers are travelling up to 4 times a year between holidays and weekend breaks. The website also found that this figure jumped to 8 times a year when including business trips.
As a result, consumers have now switched from the traditional Single Trip policy to the better value Annual Multi Trip product. Recent figures show that Annual Multi Trips now account for 80% of direct holiday insurance sales. The survey found more and more consumers are putting together their own packages, flights, hotels and car hire etc..(also known as Dynamic Packaging) either directly with a tour operator or through various websites.
Unlike tour operators and travel agents, third party suppliers such as accommodation providers, car hire companies, ferries, coach companies etc... are not required under legislation to be financially bonded. This can cause major problems for the consumer especially as some of these companies are based abroad.
In the event of any of these companies going into liquidation this can cause major problems for a consumer who will have no recourse due to the lack of a financial bond unless they have Dynamic Packaging Protection Cover (Third party insolvency cover) on their travel insurance policy. With more and more natural disasters happening throughout the world today, it is essential that the consumer has cover for an event caused by an act of God.
Many travel insurance policies do not cover this type of eventuality also known as Catastrophe Cover. This cover will allow the insured to move to another resort or fly home if the trip cannot be continued, in the event of an act of god whilst they are there. Things don't always go to plan when connecting with long haul flights from the UK, especially with low cost airlines.
The consumer should always make sure that their policy covers them for Missed Departure should delays occur with their outbound flight. Some travel insurance policies do not cover Missed Departure and it is essential that the consumer is covered for additional transport or accommodation expenses.
Any policy which covers connecting flights normally has a minimum limit of 2 hours connection time between flights, this clause still applies even if a website or travel GDS system allows a shorter connection time.
Unexpected events such as illness of the insured or a close relative, jury service, redundancy and even burglary at home, may necessitate in cancellation of the insured's booked trip.
Consumers should always purchase their travel insurance policy as soon as they have booked their flights or holiday in order to have immediate Cancellation Cover in place.
An Annual Multi Trip policy eases the hassle for consumers so they don't have to panic about whether cover is in place for each trip.In light of the Terminal 5 fiasco at London's Heathrow airport, consumers should be aware that if their Personal Baggage goes missing or is damaged after a flight, then they need to collect a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) before leaving the airport in order to claim. If personal effects are stolen whilst in the resort they must obtain a police report within 24 hours, this is standard on most travel insurance policies.
Valuables should always be kept on person when traveling in order to be covered and kept in locked safety deposit box, this includes i-pods, money, cameras etc.. With more consumers holding private health insurance the new trend is to purchase annual multitrip top up policies. These policies benefit the consumer by offering a significant discount when the insured's private health insurance includes Medical Cover abroad.