aeroplane travel

One in four Brits book travel insurance just hours before jetting off

According to new data from Go.Compare, lone travellers are the least likely to book policies well in advance.

More than a quarter of Brits (28 per cent) don’t book their travel insurance until the day they’re due to depart, according to new data from Go.Compare Travel Insurance.

The comparison site reviewed travel insurance policies purchased during January 2023 and found that, of those who were buying a policy for a forthcoming trip 28% bought it on the day of travel.  A further 19 per cent had taken out a policy during the week leading up to their trip while another 24 per cent booked it within the month of departure. Just a quarter (24 per cent) of people had took out their policy within six months of travel.

Despite a significant number of holidaymakers being last-minute policy shoppers, families proved to be the most organised, buying their policy, on average, 64 days before jetting off. Couples were also fairly well organised, typically buying their policies 52 days in advance, while lone travellers tended to leave just 31 days between purchasing their policy and going away.

Ceri McMillan, travel insurance spokesperson for Go.Compare, said on the data: “While some trips are unavoidably short notice, it is concerning that so many Brits are procrastinating before purchasing their policy.

“You can buy travel insurance right up until the point you leave home for your trip, and there’s no shame in doing that, but getting a policy in place early doors can be a game-changer – whether you’re going overseas or staying in the UK.

“Too many people think of travel insurance as something that covers problems while you’re away, but accidents and illness can strike anyone at any time. Cancellation is one of the main reasons people claim on a travel insurance policy. In those instances, having booked insurance right after you started paying for your trip could save you considerable money and stress.”

“As well as cover for cancellations, travel disruption, personal liability and lost or stolen baggage, travel insurance can cover medical expenses in the case of illness or accident, plus pay

for the cost of repatriation if needed. And while it is possible to buy a policy on the day of departure, travellers should be mindful of the waiting periods on some last-minute policies,” warned Ceri.

“In some cases, you may have to wait for a period of 24, 48, or even 72 hours for the policy to begin,”Ceri said. “These waiting periods are there to prevent you from booking insurance to cover incidents that have already happened, like a flight being cancelled or you falling ill, so  you won’t be covered until that period ends.

“And it’s also worth pointing out that if you have a pre-existing condition that could flare up and cause complications, a last-minute travel insurance policy may not cover it.

“All of this said, there are lots of providers offering good policies up to the moment you set off. The most important thing is that you’re insured, so if the worst happens you have support and protection.”

For more information about purchasing travel insurance, or to find out about last minute travel cover, please visit:


Contact Information

Rosie Johns

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

**The data we used in this story was from policies purchased from 1st Jan 2023 - 21st Jan 2023. 

For further information please contact:

Lynsey Walden on,  or Kath Chadwick on

Keep up-to-date with Go.Compare on Twitter; @Go.Compare

About Go.Compare

Go.Compare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

It does not charge people to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. Go.Compare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. It is this approach to comparing products that secured the company an invitation to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in 2008, and it is still the only comparison site to be a member of this organisation.

Go.Compare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest and works with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

Go.Compare is part of Future Plc and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

More information can be found here or here