Travellers put on alert over high insurance excess

 

Holidaymakers who have to claim on their travel insurance this summer have been warned that they could end up severely out of pocket because some policies have very high excess levels hidden in the small print.

According to exclusive research carried out for The Independent on Sunday by comparison website Moneysupermarket.com, in some instances the excess levels are so high as to make the policy virtually worthless. For instance, Moneysupermarket calculated that the best-priced cover for a single trip to the US for a family of four available from Travel Insurance Web, with a £28.06 premium, charges an excess of £200 on holiday cancellation but only has a maximum payout of £500. Likewise, baggage loss had a claim ceiling of £500 but a hefty excess of £200. Whereas, the only slightly more expensive Virgin Money policy, with a premium of £32.98 pays out £3,000 on cancellation and £1,500 for baggage loss, but with an excess of just £100 on both.

This pattern of cheaper policies coming with much higher excesses is repeated for destinations nearer to home. For example the premium for OUL Bronze's single trip policy for a family of four going to Spain is just £9.38, but medical, cancellation and baggage cover all comes with an excess of £250. With a premium £1.60 more, Debenhams Essentials has much greater cover, with an excess of just £100.

"The cheaper policies don't provide adequate cover and can also come with much higher excesses, effectively making it worthless to make a claim. In most cases, it is worth paying a few pounds more for suitable levels of cover. Some insurers, such as Virgin Money and the Post Office, allow you to pay an additional premium to waive your excess altogether," says Bob Atkinson a travel insurance expert at Moneysupermarket.

Surprisingly, travel insurance sold as part of a current account fare well in the survey. The cover with these policies is often seen as basic but the Moneysupermarket figures showed the excess levels were low across the board, with £50 per claim the norm.

One other hidden danger for holidaymakers is a clause in some policies which says the excesses of everyone named on the policy are added together when making a claim.

Debbie Bridgman, 50, from Berkshire, suffered due to such a clause. "I took out annual travel insurance for a party of five. Our apartment got burgled and about £4,000 of goods and cash was stolen. Once all the excesses were deducted the reimbursement was about £2,000. It's outrageous they can advertise a small excess and put in the small print that it is per person."

Matt Tumbridge, the director of InsureMyExcess.co.uk, says: "Families can be hit badly if they have to make a claim because excess is so often charged per person. Many consumers will be put under severe financial pressure if they have to make a claim."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

    £65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

    Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Day In a Page

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

    My George!

    Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
    10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world