Last Minute Travel Insurance Could Cost You Dear

According to the latest survey from travel insurance provider, Allianz Global Assistance UK, 1 in 5 purchase their holiday insurance less than a fortnight before they are due to set off.  This could have disastrous consequences warns Allianz Global Assistance, as travel insurance is essential for protecting holiday makers from the unexpected ‘before’ a holiday, just as much as ‘during’ their holiday.

“Our survey shows that a significant number of people buy travel insurance at the last minute, or worse still, don’t bother at all.  This leaves them exposed to all sorts of financial risks, including cancelling the holiday. If you book your holiday some months in advance of going away, and leave it to the last minute to purchase insurance, you run the risk of losing a significant proportion or all of the cost of the holiday if you have to unexpectedly cancel it,” explains Paul Doran, Head of Travel Operations at Allianz Global Assistance in the UK.  “Death, serious injury or illness of you, a loved one or someone associated to your travel plans, is the number one reason for people cancelling holidays, but if you purchase insurance at the time of booking your holiday your insurer will most likely reimburse your costs.” 

“We also urge travellers to make a full health declaration to their insurer immediately, to make sure they are covered for cancellation, as well as emergency medical treatment abroad,” continues Paul Doran.    Allianz Global Assistance goes on to advise that anyone buying insurance must declare all existing medical conditions and if they are unsure what to declare or the correct medical name for a condition, they should ask their GP.  People must not make a declaration on behalf of a relative, unless they know all the details of their existing medical conditions.

Allianz Global Assistance Travel Insurance Tips

• Buy a travel insurance policy as soon as you book a trip.
• Make a full health declaration immediately to your insurer to make sure you are covered for cancellation as well as emergency medical treatment abroad.
• If you are unsure what medical conditions to declare or the correct medical name of your condition ask your GP.
• Don’t make a declaration on behalf of a relative unless you are absolutely sure you know all the details of their existing medical conditions.
• Remember to take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if travelling to Europe.
• Remember that an EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance.
• Don’t take the risk and travel without full travel insurance
• Ensure you insurance adequately covers your holiday experience, such as golf,  winter sports, water based or other activities etc

Paul Doran concludes, “Our message to travellers is: don’t take a risk and travel without full cover. Medical expenses abroad, particularly in the USA, Caribbean, Mexico and parts of Asia, can be extremely expensive, costing more than an entire holiday. For no more than the cost of a family pack of sun tan lotion, holidaymakers can buy travel insurance, offering them protection and support in both the countdown to the holiday and when they are abroad.”