Insurance is always a bit of a grey area and a lot of people resent having to pay for it, but you are just programmed or conditioned by society and your upbringing to do so.
You tend to accept that you have to fork out for home insurance and contents insurance, even though relatively very few people over the course of their home ownership make a claim. You also accept that you are more at risk if you own a car in something happening to it, whether it is your fault or someone else’s fault, so you will automatically take out car insurance – whether it is just third party or fully comprehensive.
So why are we not ‘programmed’ in the same way when it comes to taking out travel insurance?
As a matter of course, we always advise our customers, whether it is in the first email we send out and certainly when we are asking for a deposit payment, to take out travel insurance before they confirm any booking with us, to cover them in the event of being unable to travel – for whatever reason. Because if you do have to cancel your holiday once you have paid your deposit or balance, you will unfortunately lose some money – the percentage lost depends on how close to the travel date you cancel. And we are not alone in this – all tour operators, travel agents, airlines, guest house and hotels will operate similar cancellation policies.
A holiday is generally one of the more significant household expenditures in a year. Not only in terms of the cost, but also in terms of the time you have maybe saved up for it, or the time you have spent looking forward to it. Unfortunately, nothing in life is 100% certain, and although you have your flight tickets and holiday vouchers in your hands, nobody can actually guarantee that you will be able to go on the trip until you are physically sat on the plane! So basically, having to cancel your holiday means that all your hard-earned cash just gone down the drain, with no holiday memories or photos to show for it.
So for example, what if, the day before you were due to depart, you tripped over the cat and fell down the stairs? Or your car was hit from behind by a driver texting on their phone, and you suffered bad whiplash? These are not scenarios anyone thinks will ever happen to them (especially if they live in a bungalow or do not own a cat, I give you that), but you get my general point – ANYTHING could happen to you which would mean you simply cannot go on that holiday. Other common reasons for people having to cancel holidays are being called for jury service, finding out they are pregnant, a family bereavement, an illness, redundancy…there are many things that you would not plan to happen, but which could.
This is why we would always recommend just considering that additional peace of mind offered by a reputable travel insurance company and associated travel cover. A good travel insurance policy will cover you for having to cancel or even cutting short a trip under certain circumstances and therefore, if you lose any money at all by having to cancel (as long as the reason is indeed covered by the travel insurance), you should be able to claim this back against the travel insurance cover. And certainly at Travel Butlers, we will provide supporting documentation for you to send onto your insurance company, to help the claim go through smoothly and quickly.
Travel insurance will also cover you if you fall ill while actually away – while your credit card cover or private health cover may well offer some help, the level of cover may not always be sufficient – an emergency abroad that requires hospital treatment can be incredibly expensive. And if you need to be flown home immediately, the costs keep going up and up.
You can purchase travel insurance for just one trip, or if you are planning on having several holidays (or even one major holiday and a couple of long weekend breaks) over the course of 12 months, you can consider a multi-trip/annual cover, so every trip you make over a year is covered.
Before you rush out and purchase your travel insurance, do shop around for the best deal BUT remember that the less expensive policies often have less cover – so always read the small print carefully before you buy anything!