‘Snow joke’ when travel plans are a whiteout
Travel insurance software specialist Aquarium Software says the experience of thousands of British holidaymakers returning from France on New Year’s Eve, should prompt us to check our travel insurance to be sure we have the right cover for such eventualities. Severe winter weather saw 27-hour journeys that should have taken nine, and while compensation and out of pocket expenses can often be claimed back on insurance, this depends very much on the level of cover the consumer has purchased.
Recent ABTA research shows many travellers are not sufficiently covered when it comes to winter sports and travel, with some activities and eventualities excluded from some policies. A quarter of Brits say such exclusions are the most annoying thing about travel insurance, and an Aquarium commissioned YouGov survey shows eight percent never bother to read small print anyway; a figure rising to 13 percent for single trip cover - and only half of us always cover our travel plans with adequate insurance.
“Some say small print is one of the most annoying things about travel insurance, but the moral of the story is clauses must be thoroughly checked before you travel, so the cover meets your needs,” said Aquarium Software Director, Mark Colonnese. “If skiing cover is essential, or if you are trying a new outdoor activity or sport, never assume it is covered. If you expect compensation for out of pocket expenses and delays, you need to check your policy includes it. However, geolocation technology makes it possible to propose winter sports cover to those in ski-areas who do not already have the cover, and we are exploring this with a number of partners,” Colonnese added.
Holiday providers are not obliged to offer compensation if they have fulfilled their side of the contract and circumstances of each case are judged on their merits. Likewise, delay compensation from an insurer may offer cover, but consumers need to be sure the exact product they have purchased gives them the correct cover they might require, should the worst happen. “Travel insurance apps are putting what you are covered and not covered for at your fingertips, but until they have been globally adopted by the insurance industry, many holidaymakers will simply have to be cautious and diligent,” added Mark.
“Consumers must spell out what they actually need cover for. If you are going to partake in dangerous sports, it makes absolutely no sense not to declare them. Anyone tempted by ‘self-insurance’ should check-out the cost of an air ambulance from Kitzbühel to Knutsford. Those numbers form a compelling argument in favour of comprehensive travel insurance cover,” Mark concluded.