A lot has changed in the world since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it hasn’t shut down vacations and tourism completely, the outbreak has certainly put new obstacles in the way.
Things like compulsory quarantine periods, either on arrival in certain countries or when you head back home. And, of course, with local lockdowns in response to spikes in cases liable to happen at any time, the risk of having your travel plans disrupted has increased many times over.
That is why cancellation cover has now become absolutely essential when you travel. Over the past few months, stories of people having their holiday plans ripped up at the last moment or else being stranded abroad when they can no longer get a flight home have become commonplace. If you don’t have the appropriate cover as part of your travel insurance policy, this is likely to result in a serious financial hit.
Hopefully this will result in a shift in the way people view travel insurance. Statistics show that as many as 8.6 million Brits travel abroad every year without insurance – despite the fact that the average price for a basic single-trip policy is just £9.40. Perhaps the increased risk of losing all of your money if your trip is cancelled because of coronavirus will prompt more people to take out cover.
It may also change the way people buy travel insurance. Purchasing the most basic cover available for just £9.40 sounds like a pretty good deal. But what a lot of people do is go for the price without checking what the policy actually covers. There is every chance that the cheapest, most basic policies wouldn’t protect you for the full cost of your trip being cancelled anyway.
Don’t bank on cover
Another trend is people relying on travel insurance being offered as an added-on extra as part of another service. This is particularly common with banks offering annual multi-trip cover bundled in with bank accounts and credit cards.
While this strikes a lot of people as convenient because it means they don’t have to think about their insurance every time they go on a trip, it also encourages people not to look too carefully at the details. The assumption is that travel cover is travel cover, but that’s just not the case. Now is definitely the time to read the small print on that policy you have through your bank, and check exactly what the terms are on protecting you against cancellations.
A number of banks have also dropped their travel insurance options. If you took out Tesco Travel Insurance, for example, which has been discontinued by Tesco Bank, now is not the time to think you can get by without travel cover. For the foreseeable future, the risk of holidays and flights to other countries being cancelled last minute are just too high. If you don’t have a travel insurance policy which includes robust cancellation cover, you could find yourself seriously out of pocket.
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.