Travel insurance is so often a last-minute purchase – something many travellers remember somewhere in between buying extra sunblock and locking their suitcases – but that can be a costly mistake.
Did you know that 4 in every 100 people who buy travel insurance have to make a cancellation claim? That’s a lot of people! Add to this the many other things that can go wrong and general travel insurance is claimed on by around 10 in every 100 people.
Safe Journey claims aren’t as frequent as those for general travel insurance, but cover for cancellation*, which can apply up to six weeks before your departure if your destination is affected by an act of terrorism (anywhere within a 40 mile radius), is one of the most common claims made on this policy.
Buying your travel insurance or Safe Journey top-up just before you depart leaves you without cover for weeks or even months after you make your booking, meaning that you have no financial protection if something happens and you have to change or cancel your plans.
What can go wrong?
Aside from terrorism, other problems that could affect travel plans before you depart include hazardous weather, political upheaval, and illness or injury. These need to be covered by your general travel insurance policy, but check the policy wording carefully – just like terrorism, there may be exclusions or limits on these claims.
Timing is everything
If terrorism or another incident does take place before your holiday begins and you need to cancel, you’ll only be covered if you already have a travel insurance policy which includes those specific circumstances. You need to have purchased that policy before the event that gives rise to a claim takes place.
It’s all about what you know
In other words – and this is an important point to remember when it comes to any insurance – you can’t purchase a policy to cover something if it has already happened, or if it is already known that it will happen.
Think of your car: you can insure your car against theft when you buy it, but you can’t take out that insurance if your car has already been stolen.
So if you’re travelling to an area that has experienced terrorism occasionally, you can still be insured with a Safe Journey policy (as long as that destination is one that we cover – there are very few that we don’t) but you can’t purchase that insurance after you see a news report about an attack at your destination, and then expect to be covered for that attack.
Safe Journey (and most other travel insurance) must be purchased before you depart, so it’s also not possible to get cover when you’re already travelling.
Cancellation cover* can be worth up to £2000 per person if you have to make a claim, so not having it can cost up to £2000pp if you decide to cancel and don’t have a Safe Journey policy.
The same goes for your general travel insurance policy of course – if you have to cancel your trip due to a hurricane at your destination, you need to have Natural Catastrophe or similar appropriate cover in place before the hurricane is tracked or forecast – i.e. before it’s a known problem.
Don’t risk it
Book your trip and buy your insurance immediately – don’t wait until it’s too late. Travel insurance premiums are unlikely to change so you will almost certainly pay the same amount for the same policy, no matter when you buy it.
The difference is that if you purchase it early, you get far more cover for your money, and you can feel infinitely more secure about your travel bookings.
If you travel more than once each year, a Safe Journey annual multi-trip policy could help as it covers you throughout the year, for an unlimited number of trips of up to 31 days each. That’s one less thing to think about when you make those bookings! From £15.66 per person for the entire year, that really is a game changer. Get a quick quote – no obligations – and see how cost-effective all that peace of mind can be.
If you need a general travel insurance policy that covers the other risks mentioned above, please get in touch with our sister company OneStop4 to find the most appropriate policy for you.
*Please note: all cover referred to is a summary only. For full details of Safe Journey cover, exclusions, terms and conditions, read our Policy Wording.