Sad to relate, but in boring company with the rest of life at the moment, we can expect to pay higher prices for travel insurance soon. You can bet your bottom dollar that by the time the busy summer booking season begins in January, insurance companies will have raised their prices quite a bit. It isn’t helped by the fact that VAT will rise from 17.5% to 20% in January so that will automatically cause an increase.
AXA has forecast increases in excess of 10% but hasn’t said how much. Brokers are talking of sharp rises, whatever that means.
Why should increases be so “sharp?”
One broker, Peter Hayman of P. J Hayman Travel Insurance says it is because of the high cost of medical claims from holidaymakers and travellers to the USA. Another reason is that, historically, premiums have been low. Certainly, it seems that I have been paying much the same sort of sum for my annual travel insurance that I have been paying for years. What the passenger can hope for is that there are so many companies out there offering travel insurance that the competition may be sufficient to keep any increases quite low.
Another answer to increased prices could be to shop around before most of the price rises – if they do – come into effect. Annual travel policies are useful if you go more than a couple of times per year. If you have one already it might be worth working out whether it is better to renew now rather than wait for your policy to expire. You can also save quite a bit if you are sure that you won’t be visiting the United States. Generally policies are broken down by travel to Europe, to anywhere in the world bar USA and anywhere in the world so check carefully which price to pay. Ski or sports travel insurance can also bump up your premiums so don’t select that if you don’t need it. Watch out for some other things that insurers put into their policies. Some say you can travel for up to 46 days in one trip. If you don’t plan on going away for more than a fortnight at a time, see if another policy will charge less if the maximum trip length is 30 days or fewer. Some policies don’t include travel insurance for domestic holidays so check the small print if you plan do quite a bit of UK travel. Other policies allow children under 18 to be included in your policy. Others allow children of any age provided that they are students (and university can last till 24 or so particularly if they do postgraduate work.) Finally if you buy a family policy check that you are covered if members of the family go on separate breaks. Some allow it some don’t.