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Travel Insurance – Is It Necessary For A UK-Based Holiday?
Just over a month ago, my boyfriend and I decided to visit the beautiful city of Edinburgh for our 5 year anniversary. We live in Dorset, so we didn’t want to spend the whole time travelling. To make the trip easier on ourselves, we decided to fly there, and used a travel agent to organise the week long holiday. Imagine my surprise when I saw an additional £27.50 on the quote for travel insurance! We were only going to Edinburgh, not Pittsburgh!
I was offended that they thought we would be so stupid as to get travel insurance for a trip within the UK. They have hospitals in Edinburgh, and it really isn’t very far away. But later on, over a cup of hot chocolate, I put some more thought into it.
Holiday disasters can happen anywhere, not just abroad - so I made a list of what could feasibly go wrong:
· One of us could fall ill before we depart, we’d have no choice but to cancel the trip. The flights and the hotel were non-refundable, so we’d have to pay anyway.
· My Grandfather has been ill lately, if he got suddenly worse then I wouldn’t be able to go on holiday. Again, the trip would have to be cancelled.
· Either of us could be called up for jury service at any time.
· Flights are delayed and cancelled all the time. On top of the inconvenience, we may need to arrange an overnight stay near the airport.
· Anything could happen to our luggage, airlines lose suitcases all the time.
· My boyfriend bought me a wonderful digital camera as a present, if I lost it, it would be very expensive to replace.
Hang on a minute, what about our Home & Contents insurance policy? I bet that would cover us for loss of luggage or my camera as long as I was in the UK. I found the policy and read the small print. No such luck, only ‘personal possessions’ that were listed on the policy counted, so everything in the luggage wouldn’t be covered, and I’d need to make a phone call to get the camera included on the policy.
I remembered something else – we had over 4 years of no claims discount on our Home & Contents policy. If we had to make a claim, we’d lose the no claims discount. Our premiums would go sky high after that, they were already high enough as it is, at £305 a year. I realised that I really should look for a cheaper Home & Contents policy at the time of renewal, and promised myself to do that in future.
After the investigations I had made so far, I realised that £27.50 for a travel policy wasn’t actually too bad.
I’ve never been one to rest on my laurels though. I might have decided that travel insurance was a good idea, but it didn’t mean I was willing to accept the price quoted by the travel agent.
I went online to get some more quotes. The first two or three sites I looked at couldn’t give me what I wanted, but 10 minutes later, I struck gold. I found a single trip travel policy for the UK, and it was a good £10 cheaper than the travel agent’s quote.
I read the small print, no point signing up without knowing all the facts. I was pleased to see all the points I had listed were covered.
Now the exclusions – was it all too good to be true after all? Phew – no need to worry. If the holiday was less than 25 miles from our home address, or for less than 2 nights, then we wouldn’t be covered. No problem there. Otherwise the only downside was that we’d have to pay the £30 if we needed to make a claim. Fair enough.
Happy with the policy I’d found and with the decision that we did need travel insurance after all, I bought the travel insurance policy there and then.