Alas, it’s true – a survey conducted by travel insurer Columbus Direct found that many are losing money by buying multiple single-trip policies a year, instead of investing in an annual multi-trip policy. Brits said they spend about £53 on three single-trip insurance policies a year – but an annual multi-trip policy could cost them as little as £26.15 to insure all three trips, saving £26.85 and essentially cutting the cost in half. However, with 44 per cent (or 23 million) of Brits buying travel insurance in the last year, this unnecessary extra cost amounts to a monstrous £630 million.
The problem, Columbus suggests, highlights a problem with misjudgement at the point of purchasing a policy. Of those that purchase single-trip policies, the survey revealed that 28 per cent of respondents were not keen to commit to an annual multi-trip policy in case future holidays needed specialist insurance, such as skiing or backpacking. Having a cheaper up-front cost influenced a quarter (26 per cent) of Brits surveyed, which led to them buying the single-trip policy, and a similar amount (22 per cent) admitted that they simply chose the quickest option, as they booked last minute.
In addition, a rather worrying 11 per cent said that their purchasing a single-trip policy was due to mistakenly thinking that buying an annual multi-trip policy means you must holiday in the same country all year.
Conversely, one-fifth of people that bought an annual multi-trip policy (spending an average £65) only took one trip, and thus ended up forking out for more coverage than they needed.
Stuart Lloyd, Travel Insurance Expert at Columbus Direct, said: “Spontaneous trips and a desire for short-term savings mean many of us buy the cheapest travel insurance available just before we jet off. While we feel good that we’re covered, the reality is this behaviour means many holidaymakers end up paying double what they should. The most important thing is to make sure you’ve got the right level of cover for each holiday, then you can look at comparing price.”
For those who are looking at taking more than one holiday in a 12-month period – say those looking at a short city break, a quick trip to visit family, or a long weekend away at a wedding – industry professionals know that an annual policy would be best, while for those looking at a winter skiing trip, for example, a single-trip policy is best. What the survey ultimately highlights is that insurers should look to provide increased support during the early stages of the customer journey, as this will help steer customers towards an educated and informed decision when buying the appropriate coverage.