With holidays back on the agenda as Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives the quarantine-free travel to 59 countries the green light, Martin Lewis has provided an urgent warning for those eyeing deals. Speaking on the Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5 Live, the money saving pro revealed forgetting one vital thing could result in massive losses.
Martin’s advice came after he was contacted by a man who had plans to jet off to Greece but was uncertain about whether the country would open up its borders to Britons in time for the trip.
However, the hopeful holidaymaker has suffered a worrying blow when he revealed that he had not purchased travel insurance.
“Folks, never book a holiday if you haven’t got travel insurance,” urged Martin.
“If you get travel insurance now it isn’t going to cover you for corona-based cancellations.
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“ASAB. I’ve been saying it for years. You can get your travel insurance as soon as you book.”
Martin explained that regardless of whether the Greek authorities would or would not let Britons enter since the flights and hotel were still available, neither company would be responsible for providing a refund.
However, had the traveller purchased an all-encompassing travel insurance policy, he would likely be protected if national restrictions jilted his plans.
“The problem is if the flights and hotel are available and you can’t go, then arguably there’s no fault so you’re not going to get a refund from anyone,” continued Martin.
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“If Greece doesn’t let you in but the flight is still on and the hotel is still available, then that’s something that if you had got travel insurance in advance it may just have covered you for, but the airline and hotel are unlikely to refund you.
“If you had booked this as a package holiday, you may well have had cover there, but because you booked flight and hotel independently, I’m presuming it isn’t covered under the package regulations depending how you bought it, and you haven’t got travel insurance.”
Martin’s mantra ‘as soon as you buy’ is vital because not only does it provide coverage when you are at your destination, it also provides coverage for any incidents which may arise in the lead-up.
“I do it every year – I talk about booking travel insurance ASAB – as soon as you book,” he previously said.
“Because if you don’t and something happens in the meantime before you get travel insurance, you’re not covered.”
This notion was echoed by Greg Wilson, founder of QuoteZone.co.uk.
Speaking to Express.co.uk he explained: “The impact the pandemic has had on the international travel market highlights just how important it is to take out travel insurance at the same time as you book your trip.
“If you don’t take out a policy until you’re about to fly you won’t be covered if an issue arises before then.”
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Despite the warnings, though, new research by comparethemarket.com found that More than one in ten people think they are unlikely to take out travel insurance if they were to book a holiday abroad.
“It is concerning that there remains a sizeable proportion of people that are unlikely to take out travel insurance when going abroad,” said
Patrick Ikhena, head of travel, comparethemarket.com.
“It is possible, and important, to find policies offering comprehensive cover for more common holiday upheavals.
“Travel insurance remains a much-needed safeguard against problems such as lost or stolen luggage and travel disruption unrelated to COVID-19.
“The additional security and peace of mind provided by travel insurance is as important for domestic ‘staycations’ as it is for travel abroad.
“This is particularly relevant this summer, with many more people considering holidaying in the UK.”