You’re sure to have heard all the news about the government investigation into the travel insurance that the high street travel agents shark onto unsuspecting holidaymakers. If not try here, here or here.
Basically if you buy your travel insurance from the agent, you are paying too much – that’s according to Which?, who reckon that on a single trip policy for a family of four, some travel agents are charging as much as £200 more than the cheapest rates on the market. For a single trip!
No wonder some market commentators have suggested that the agencies make more money on the insurance than they do from the holidays.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the agents frequently mis-sell the policies, don’t take sufficient details to provide an appropriate level of cover and don’t provide sufficient information on the benefits and exclusions. And then, you can bet, they’ll try and weasel out of paying up in the event of a claim.
And the self (meaning almost not) regulated nature of the travel agent’s policies could leave you without much recourse in the event of a problem. Says Motley Fool’s Chris D’Arcy: (Link Removed)
“Many holidaymakers are amazed to discover that insurance sold by travel agents and tour operators is not governed by the strict rules on the selling of general insurance laid down by the Financial Services Authority.”
Not only that but you wouldn’t have recourse to the financial ombudsman either.
The travel agents say that are opposed to stricter regulation because they would have to put their prices up. And they don’t seem to be joking.
So now that you know all that, just how dumb do you have to be to take the policy that your travel agent offers you? Especially when you can get a full year’s cover for a family of four for just £85*.
* Example quoted is for whole family cover including personal belongings and cancellation cover, travelling within the EU, no golf, winter sports or business trip add-ons, both parents are under 50.