CII: Brexit will lead to a rise in the cost of travel insurance

A lone Union Jack on the cold grey beach of Brexit

The UK’s Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has issued a stark warning about the effect that Britain’s exit from the EU will have on travel insurance prices

The CII undertook a survey of 114 insurance professionals, the headline being that 76 per cent expect that consumers will be paying more for their travel insurance after Brexit. Only 24 per cent said that they did not think costs would increase. Any changes that do occur will of course depend on the nature of the Brexit deal – or lack of same – and whether the UK can secure reciprocal health agreements with other countries.

“The Brexit withdrawal agreement means that unaltered transitional arrangements stay in place until at least 31st December,” said Kevin Hancock, Chair of the CII’s Society of Insurance Broking. “Following that, it depends what is negotiated between the UK and the EU member states. The general consensus though is that the cost of European travel insurance will eventually increase.”

Martin Ashfield, who is on the Board of the CII’s Society of Claims Professionals, said that travellers with British passports may need to have six months left on their passport in order to travel while the UK is exiting the EU, although British passport holders travelling to EU countries for up to 90 days as tourists will not require specific visas. Those travelling by car or motorhome will need a green card, a GB sticker and potentially an international driving permit, depending on the country.

“In all scenarios, the travel policy will not respond if the customer doesn’t hold the necessary documents,” explained Ashfield. “This isn’t unique to Brexit, there has always been an exclusion in policy wordings to protect against claims for incorrect/lack of required travel documentation.” He also pointed out that the possibility of extra security checks at airports, ferry terminals and so on following Brexit could lead to a spike in claims for missed departures and delays: “Most policies will provide cover for delayed departures; however, if a customer misses a flight / coach / ferry due to extra checks at security / borders, costs for additional travel and / or accommodation would not normally be covered. It is however expected that insurers will adopt a reasonable approach to claims where it is clear the customer has allowed enough time to get to the airport / coach / ferry terminal.”