Data from MoneySuperMarket has revealed that British travellers are opting for more comprehensive travel insurance policies than before the pandemic. Jenny Southan reports

An indication that British travellers are more risk-averse when it comes to travelling abroad after the pandemic, research from MoneySuperMarket shows that 65 per cent of travellers are choosing a more expensive silver or gold travel insurance policy than a cheaper bronze policy.

MoneySuperMarket categorises its insurance policies into gold, silver, and bronze tiers, depending on the level of cover. The data reveals that there has been a decline in those opting to take out the least comprehensive, lowest cost insurance policies. Prior to the pandemic, these bronze tier policies were the most popular.

The more expensive gold and silver categories have seen the most growth compared to the last available data from a “normal” year, in 2019, suggesting concerns about on-going travel problems are leading travellers to opt for policies that provide more comprehensive cover.

Jan-Jun 2019 Jan-Jun 2022
Bronze 39.8% 35%
Silver 34.6% 37.5%
Gold  25.6% 27.5%

The MoneySuperMarket data also reveals a tendency for travellers to leave their insurance decisions to the last minute – often just days before their trip.

Over half of travellers in Q2 of 2022 bought their travel insurance within one week of their departure date (51 per cent). Experts recommend purchasing travel insurance at the same time that you book a trip as cancellations are covered from the time the policy starts.

Rachel Ditchburn, travel insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, says: “With the on-going travel chaos and covid still affecting travel plans, it has never been more important to double-check that your travel insurance provides the protection you need.

“Holidays should be a time for relaxation, not for worrying about getting stranded or having to pay for expensive medical treatment abroad. Giving you and your family the peace of mind that, whatever happens, you will make it home without incurring unexpected costs ensures you can focus on what’s important – having a great time!

“All travel insurance policies available through MoneySuperMarket include emergency medical treatment and repatriation for coronavirus claims as a minimum. However, while cover for cancellation and delays is usually offered, it is not always the case, especially amid ongoing strike action.

“Make sure you double check your policy and understand what is and isn’t covered – it could make the difference between ‘one to remember’ and a ‘holiday from hell’.”

Travel insurance tips

Read the small print

Make sure the policy you are taking out caters to your needs. The level of protection you will need depends on where you are going, and the plans you have made for your time away. If you’re planning on partaking in sports, for example, it is worth double-checking you are covered. Skiing or climbing will almost definitely need specialist insurance – but even a casual bike ride might not be covered.

Travel chaos cover

For airline cancellations, insurers initially expect the airlines to be responsible for rescheduling the flights. In most circumstances you will not be covered if your trip is cancelled for a “known event” such as a strike, so double check your travel dates. If you could have reasonably been aware of a strike at the time of booking the holiday or taking out the insurance, you won’t be covered when your flight is cancelled.

Expensive items

You may be more concerned than usual about your baggage going missing amid staff shortages at British airports. Most policies will cover lost baggage, but expensive items, such as mobiles, gadgets, designer clothes or sports and music equipment are often excluded from standard travel policies. If you’re taking your laptop, fancy sunglasses or a guitar with you, check if you’ll need additional cover as some insurers will have a maximum price limit for individual items that you can claim for.