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?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
i100
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
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

    Techincal Accountant-Insurance-Bank-£550/day

    £475 - £550 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Technical Accountant-Insuran...

    Sales Performance Manager, Gloucester - £290 p/day

    £200 - £290 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Sales Performance Manager, Key Ba...

    Junior Database developer (SQL, T-SQL, Excel, SSRS, Crystal rep

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...

    Java/Calypso Developer

    £600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, ...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment