At this time of year, travelling abroad is at the forefront of people’s minds. Holidays are a great opportunity to relax and enjoy time out from the everyday grind but there are a number of financial pitfalls that could potentially ruin an otherwise enjoyable trip abroad. Many people fail to research the best possible travel insurance for their trip and can often end up having to fork out for extra costs in the event of unexpected problems while they are holidaying abroad.
Insufficient cover is one of the main problems that holiday-makers encounter when claiming for accidents, loss, and medical bills when taken ill abroad. Small print on insurance contracts, which often goes unread by the consumer, can sometimes reveal hidden loopholes in cover and extortionate excess costs. With many people falling foul of this ‘contract small print’ in their insurance cover, it has become a hot topic in the press and many shocking cases of insurance disasters have been uncovered.
Numerous cases of insurance claims not being fulfilled and medical bills having to be paid by individuals rather than insurance companies because of ‘loop holes’ in cover has caused outrage and controversy. With such extensive negative coverage in the press, it is still surprising that consumers do not take the time to research and shop around for the best policy. In a lot of cases, insurance contracts may even go unread after being purchased, leading to nasty shocks of absence of cover when the time comes to claim.
Is it possible that people simply can not be bothered to take the time to evaluate insurance policies? There seems to be a widespread misconception that all insurance policies are pretty much the same. This is not the case at all. There is massive variety within the holiday insurance industry and it is a competitive market, in fact, many high street travel agents are known to have a very persuasive technique in trying to sell their ‘in house’ insurance policies which can generate huge levels of income.
Buying insurance as an ‘add-on’ to a holiday may not be the most cost effective nor sensible option as the terms and conditions are often not explained fully by the travel agent meaning that insurance policies can be bought which do not offer the most suitable level of cover. Recently, alternative ways of buying travel insurance are starting to emerge. At least one of the leading supermarkets is offering ‘off the shelf’ travel insurance which you can pick up with your weekly grocery shop. Obviously this has its advantages, but it can also mean that people fall into the usual insurance pitfalls of not being sufficiently covered. Although convenient, the ‘off the shelf’ packages offered by Supermarkets, can mean that people will grab of the shelf the policy that they think gives them the best cover without taking time to read the terms and conditions.
The popularity of last minute deals and cheap internet flights could also be a contributing factor in the lack of sound research by the consumer into suitable cover. Last minute holidays also mean a last minute dash to purchase insurance which can leave many holiday makers without suitable cover especially when undertaking adventure breaks. The benefits of taking time to look into and evaluate the different types of cover and policies is obvious.
There is a wealth of information on the internet to assist in keeping up to date with financial and insurance related news. Sites such as Money news, which is a financial news website that gives valuable up to date articles on a range of money issues including banking and insurance can be an invaluable tool. The website is constantly updated with the latest news for the financial industry and is a worthwhile stop before purchasing insurance.
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