Holiday bookings are at their peak at this time of year as thoughts turn to some warmer weather, but a Shropshire insurance expert has warned would-be travellers to take care.
Dave Williams, said the onset of winter always brought a surge in summer holiday bookings.
“It’s no wonder that we all start to think about heading off to warmer climes – Christmas is over, the New Year is here, and it’s so tempting to book a summer break to give ourselves something to look forward to. But travellers must be aware that their trip could be ruined if they fail to order travel insurance at the same time – even if the booking is made many months in advance.
“You need to think about it carefully so that you don’t lose all the money you’ve paid if, for some reason, you can’t travel, or to protect you if something happens to spoil it while you’re away. Don’t leave it until you’re about to go because an important part of the policy will be the cancellation cover – what if you’re ill or have an accident and have to cancel your trip?
“If you’re lucky enough to go on holiday twice or more a year, get a quote for an annual travel policy as you might be pleasantly surprised at the savings you could make.”
Mr Williams said travellers should also read the declaration contained in the policy documents, because if they hadn’t read it, they could find they were not insured properly.
“And don’t ignore any existing medical conditions just to try to secure a cheaper policy – if you’re taken ill abroad, your insurers would be well within their rights to refuse to pay out, and if you can’t pay, you could well find yourself stranded abroad with no way to get home.
“Check you have the right kind of cover for the type of trip you’re planning too – if you’re flying, does your policy include flight cancellations? If you’re going skiing, do you have winter sports cover?
“And if you’re going on a cruise, look at the policy you’re buying very carefully as research has shown one in three standard travel policies refuses to cover cruise passengers. Even if your insurer does offer cruise cover, terms and conditions can vary greatly, so you need to be wary of exactly what the policy includes.
“The right insurance will put your mind at rest so that even if your holiday is spoilt, you will have help to solve your problems and maybe you’ll be able to recover enough money to help you finance another one.”