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Travel insurance is always vital whenever you book a holiday and offers important protection. However, if your holidays are no longer going ahead due to the lockdown, you may well regret purchasing holiday cover. Is it possible to cancel travel insurance and get a refund? Express.co.uk spoke to Neil Wright, founder and managing director of insurance brands CoverForYou, Cedar Tree and Outbacker.
Wright explained that holiday insurance can be cancelled within 14 days of purchase.
However, he warned that your insurer may charge you an admin fee for this.
“There’s a 14-day cooling-off period with any travel insurance product, this gives you the opportunity to review the cover and makes sure it meets your needs.
“People should be aware some insurers charge an administration fee of around £25 if you cancel during this period.
“This cost can be the same as the actual premium, so make sure you read the fine print.”
If this two-week period has passed, the cancellation will depend on whether you’ve bought cover for a single trip or an annual policy.
“After the 14-day period, refunds are not available for Single Trip policies, but Annual Multi-Trip policies can be cancelled with a pro-rata refund,” said Wright.
“Again, you need to bear in mind some insurers will charge an admin fee to do this.”
Holidaymakers should remember that just because they haven’t travelled yet, it doesn’t mean the travel insurance hasn’t been offering cover.
“A travel insurance policy is split into two parts,” said Wright.
“The first part is the period before you travel when you run the risk of cancellations, e.g. you need to cancel because you’re ill or have had an accident, you’re covered for this.
“In insurance-speak, you’ve been ‘on risk’ during this time, so no refund on the premium will be due.”
Wright continued: “Our brands – CoverForYou, Cedar Tree and Outbacker – are part of a handful of insurers to offer Covid cover. We provide Covid cover as standard on all new and existing Single-Trip and Annual Multi-Trip policies.
“This means you’ll be covered for things like being made redundant and no longer being able to afford to go on holiday; you can’t board a plane because of suspected Covid symptoms, or the country you’re travelling to introduces quarantine restrictions on arrival and you no longer wish to travel.
“It’s also worth bearing in mind, the actual policy costs to ensure you’re covered as far as you can be during these unpredictable times.
“Our average cost for a Single-Trip policy is £4.95 (individual travelling in Europe over a long weekend) while an Annual Multi-Trip policy for a single person starts at around £42 (worldwide, excluding the USA), so that’s about £3.50 a month, similar to the cost of a coffee.”
It’s also worth thinking twice about cancelling your annual policy – you might later regret it when you can next travel.
“While you might be put off travelling for the next couple of months, it doesn’t mean that’s always going to be the case,” said Wright.
“An Annual Multi-Trip policy will give you cancellation coverage on any trip that you might book when this is over.
“If you cancel your insurance, you’ll be without this cover which means you could end up being out of pocket if you have to cancel because of illness or an accident.”
Now is actually a savvy time to purchase travel insurance as there are offers to be snatched up.
“There are deals to be had on travel insurance at the moment, so it pays to shop around,” the expert explained.
“Like other industries, insurers have had to adapt to what people need at this time.
“We are now offering 15 months for the price of 12 on all Annual Multi-Trip renewals because we understand you may not be able to travel in the near future, but still need cancellation cover on any trips booked.”
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