Off on holiday? Make sure you check your travel insurance before you go

An investigation into annual travel insurance policies found 94% of standard plans included cover for delays – which is good new for travellers.

On average this provides cover worth £269 to provide an overnight stay and food expenses whilst waiting for a delayed flight. The lowest amount of cover provided across all the policies on the market is £75 and this goes up to £1,500.

However, Moneyfacts.co.uk, which carried out the analysis said there remained 6% of policies which did not provide this type of cover as standard.

What’s more the average wait time for holidaymakers to make a claims is 11.5 hours – with some having to wait for 24 hours.

With reports of airline delays this summer, Moneyfacts is urging travellers to check their policies before they travel to ensure they are covered and – if so – are aware of the length of the claims procedure.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “Waiting a whole day to claim will be less than ideal, particularly for an individual or family with no place to stay for free nearby while they await their next flight.

“Footing the bill for an overnight stay and food expenses may be beyond the average cover of £269, so it’s important consumers carefully consider their level of cover instead of the cheapest premium.”

What other features do travel insurance policies cover?

According to Moneyfacts’s investigation, 99% of standard plans include cancellation and curtailment cover. The average cover for this is £4,007 but ranges between £500 and £15,000. The average excess is £75 and ranges from £0 to £300.

Baggage cover, meanwhile, is included on 97% of standard plans and the average cover is £2,030 – ranging between £200 and £10,000. The average excess is £72 and ranges between £0 and £250.

Again, despite the fact most insurers provide these as standard, Rachel urged anyone about to head off on holiday to check their policy included these features.

“As flight cancellations, delays and baggage loss dominate the headlines it’s a good time to scrutinise the terms and excess when comparing plans and pick one with a suitable package of cover, not just the cheapest plan,” she said.

She added: “Baggage loss can be a huge nightmare for holidaymakers, and while most standard annual policies have this feature (97%), the value of cover varies considerably.

“Some possessions could be irreplaceable, and a summer wardrobe could be expensive to replace, but for others their baggage for a short trip may not have enormous value.

“Having an appropriate level of cover for any loss is wise and because each person’s luggage varies, it’s not too surprising that the average cover for baggage loss has a massive range from £200 up to £10,000 and most plans require an excess to be paid .”

Take a credit card on holiday for extra safety

Rachel also offered one more piece of advice for holidaymakers – take a credit card on your trip. She added: “As a financial safety net, a credit card is wise, as it also offers consumers protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

“As with any trip, holidaymakers would be wise to check their cover and rights before they travel, particularly if they have booked their flights direct.”

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