Tempted to book your travel insurance through a price comparison site? Think again.

Although we may feel using a comparison site is the most effect way of finding a policy – as it will save us time scrolling through endless websites – they often overlook the needs of the consumer and focus solely on price. Whilst lower prices may be appealing, it isn’t until something goes wrong we realise that our policy was in fact not suitable for our needs.

A common misunderstanding when it comes to travel insurance is an excess on a policy; many believe in the event of a claim they will only need to pay one lot of excess, when in fact many standard policies will state than an excess is to be paid per person. For example, if you have a family of 4 on a policy with £250 excess, should you need to cancel your holiday and make a claim, the total required would be £1000 – an eye watering amount of money especially if your family holiday doesn’t cost much more than this. Although this clause is often mentioned in the policy wording and on the providers’ web sites, many customers fail to read the document or conditions on the web site and end up frustrated and out of pocket when they need to make a claim.

There are policies out there that offer zero excess. Although these may be slightly more expensive, they are not as bad as you would imagine; for an additional couple of pounds, you could save yourself a fortune in excesses should you need to claim. There are also specific family policies, which don’t charge the excess per person should you need to cancel your holiday, instead they generally calculate the excess at 10% of the overall holiday cost – however you are unlikely to find this type of policy on a price comparison site.

Travel Insurance Explained is a campaign that is designed to help consumers understand more about travel insurance policies and to encourage the nation to stop buying based on price and instead look for a policy that will cover your needs – even if that does mean doing a little extra reading. If customers prefer to buy a cheaper policy, we are here to make sure they understand what is and isn’t cover under their policy, that way there are no nasty surprises when they need to make a claim.

Listen to the below radio interview with Travel Insurance Explained’s, Fiona Macrae for more information on the downfalls of purchasing a cheaper policy and how you can avoid this mistake in the future (starts at 33:47): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09drjm9#play