Ahead of the October half-term get-away, GoCompare Travel Insurance is advising parents to make sure they have the right cover for their family and their holiday, or risk being left out of pocket if they need to make a claim.
Analysis of over 1,000 annual travel policies* reveals restrictions on insuring children, depending on their relationship and living arrangements with the insured adults, and their travel arrangements. It also found restrictions and exclusions relating to activities insurers deem ‘hazardous’ which can include cycling, horse riding and banana boating.
Most policies reviewed provide valuable insurance for UK staycations – covering pre-paid travel and accommodation costs due to cancellation or curtailment of the trip because of illness or bereavement.
Martyn John from GoCompare Travel explained: “Travel insurance gives you valuable financial protection if your holiday doesn’t go as planned. According to the latest industry figures** insurers paid out £1m per day to travellers who needed help. But insurance is only any good if it pays out when you need it. If something unexpected happens to spoil your holiday, the last thing you want is to have your claim rejected. So, when arranging cover for your family holiday, it’s essential to check the small print to ensure the policy suits your personal family circumstances and holiday plans, particularly if you are holidaying with an extended family.
“Families come in all shapes and sizes but, despite step-families being a familiar part of modern life, cover for children may depend on their living arrangements with the insured parent. Similarly, families shouldn’t assume that children named on their family travel policy will be able to travel separately from them, for example on a school trip or on holiday with another relative or friend.”
“A staycation during the school holidays can still be expensive therefore, families planning to stay in a forest holiday village or other UK break should check whether they are covered if they need to cancel or cut-short their holiday at short notice.”
GoCompare Travel Insurance shares five tips for families when arranging cover for their holiday:
- Check cover for children
Divorced or separated parents should check their insurance to ensure children holidaying with them are covered. While 59% of policies reviewed include cover for step-children regardless whether they live with the insured parent or not, 39% only provide cover for children who reside with the insured parent; 2% exclude cover altogether. Insurers who don’t automatically provide cover for step-children may allow them to be added.
Children named on a family travel policy may not be covered if they are taken on holiday by their grandparents, other family members or friends. Only 55% of policies allow all insured family members to travel independently of each other; 45% just cover the insured adults while a handful (1%) don’t permit any independent travel.
- European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Families travelling to Europe should ensure that each family member has an EHIC, which entitles them to free or subsidised state-provided medical treatment. An EHIC may also save them from paying an excess on a travel insurance medical claim.
- Don’t forget valuable cover for staycations
UK holidays are covered by 98% of annual travel policies. Cover applies for pre-booked holidays of typically one to five consecutive nights away. While medical treatment in the UK is excluded, other costs such as pre-paid travel and accommodation for cancellation or curtailment are covered.
Standard policies typically exclude winter sports, jet skiing, bungee jumping, quad biking, rugby, paragliding, martial arts, cycling touring, diving (solo or beyond a certain depth), riding mopeds or motorcycles. Some policies can be extended to include cover for certain activities. Policyholders are required to follow any safety precautions and conditions outlined by their insurer. Families planning an adventurous or sporting holiday may need specialist insurance.
- Shop around for the best deal, not just price
Cover levels and prices vary widely between insurance policies so, families should use a comparison website to find the policy which meets the needs of their family and holiday plans, at the best price.
For more information on families and travel insurance visit: https://www.gocompare.com/travel-insurance/family-travel-insurance/
For further information please contact:
Anders Nilsson or Martyn John at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 654 725
Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845
Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare
Notes to editors
*Defaqto Matrix of 1,032 annual travel insurance policies - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto (04 October 2018). Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.
**Association of British Insurers’ report ‘UK Insurance and Long-Term Savings Key Facts 2017’ (travel insurance claims figures relate to 2016).
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