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Planning a City Break? Don’t forget travel insurance

04 January 2016
  • Gocompare.com recommends travel insurance for City Breaks abroad;
  • Most annual travel insurance policies also cover UK City Breaks.

Whether it’s a cultural escape, a shopping trip or just a relaxing long weekend away, city breaks abroad are an increasingly popular choice with Brits.  But, Gocompare.com is warning travellers not to head-off overseas without travel insurance - no matter how short their trip.

Arranging travel insurance is a vital part of planning any trip abroad.  Without cover, travellers could be left footing the bill for expensive medical treatment if they have an accident or fall ill abroad.  In addition to medical cover, travel insurance provides a financial cushion against travel plans being cancelled because of unforeseen events including illness, injury or redundancy, travel delays and for lost or stolen baggage, passports or other belongings.

Alex Edwards, Gocompare.com’s travel insurance spokesperson, commented, “According to the latest ABTA report,* City breaks are the most popular type of holiday, thanks in part to low cost flights and favourable exchange rates.  Cities allow visitors to soak-up and explore a wide range of experiences – from museums, art galleries, historically important buildings to restaurants, bars and shops - in a compact period of time.  And, just as for any other type of holiday abroad, you should make sure that you, your holiday and your belongings are protected by travel insurance. 

“An important, but often overlooked, benefit of travel insurance is cancellation cover.  So to fully benefit from their insurance, we recommend people buy travel insurance as soon as they have booked their trip abroad.  Put simply, cancellation cover pays out for travel and accommodation costs if you’re unexpectedly unable to go on your planned holiday, but if you always leave buying travel insurance to the last minute, you could miss out on this key benefit.

“Tourists visiting cities can provide rich-pickings for thieves and pickpockets and again, travel insurance can provide a financial buffer if you are unfortunate to be a victim of crime.”  

Alex Edwards continued, “If you’re planning more than one trip abroad, then an annual travel policy can be a more cost-effective option.   In addition to covering you for multiple trips abroad, the majority of annual travel policies cover holidaying in the UK – which would include, for example, a city break in London or Edinburgh.  While your insurance won’t cover you for medical treatment in the UK it will cover other costs – such as pre-paid travel and accommodation if you have to cancel or cut short your trip as a result of illness or bereavement.  However, policies typically stipulate that for cover to apply, you will need to have pre-booked at least two consecutive nights, pre-paid accommodation.

Gocompare.com reviewed 647 annual (multi-trip) travel and 635 single trip travel insurance policies** and found that:

Cancellation cover is a standard feature under most of policies (99% annual travel, 96% single trip).  Cover levels vary considerably (£500 to over £5,000). This cover allows the insured to reclaim the costs of their holiday (minus any excess) should certain circumstances arise before taking the trip. These may include a serious illness or injury affecting someone in the travelling party or a close relative, such as a parent or child, who isn’t travelling but with whom they would like to remain at home.

Baggage cover is available under the majority of travel insurance policies (91% annual, 94% of single trip).  Subject to policy limits and an allowance for wear and tear, it pays out for accidentally lost, stolen, damaged or delayed baggage   Cover levels vary widely, but typically, most provide total cover of between £750 and £2,000 per insured person.       

Personal money and documents (e.g. passports, visas and driving licences) are covered by most policies (90% annual, 91% single trip), with most policies providing cover of between £250 and £500). 

UK holiday cover is available under most (95%) annual travel insurance policies, however, to be covered you will need to have pre-booked a certain minimum number of consecutive nights away (from one to five depending on the policy) most policies (72%) require a minimum of two nights.  

Gocompare.com has created a beginners guide to travel insurance

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

*ABTA Travel Trends 2015 – ‘City breaks overtook beach holidays as the most popular type of holiday in 2014 and are expected to hold the top spot in 2015...’.

** Defaqto Matrix of 647 annual and 635 single trip travel insurance policies (23 November 2015) - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto. Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.