It has perhaps been easy to forget, in the chaos of Covid-19, that Brexit is still on course – indeed, many people in the UK have found it at the bottom of their list of priorities, let alone people in other countries. But there is no going back now, and by the time the year is out, travellers will be looking at many changes.
An arguably somewhat optimistically named new government campaign, ‘UK’s new start: let’s get going’ has been launched to advise individuals and businesses how best to prepare for the UK’s exit from the European Union. Compare By Review, a UK-based comparison site focusing on customer experience over price, has welcomed the campaign, hoping that it will shine a light on the importance of both buying travel insurance and understanding it.
Encouragingly, Covid-19 has led to an increase in awareness of the importance of travel insurance, as reported in ITIJ – and not a moment too soon. Compare By Review, in a survey undertaken before the pandemic, found that British holidaymakers were frequently slapdash in their travel insurance buying habits, if they purchased it at all. Fifteen per cent said that they never bought travel cover, while less than 50 per cent of those who did spent a significant amount of time looking at the specifics of policies and choosing one that suited their personal needs. Not encouraging – but when compared to a more recent survey, it’s clear that there has been a change in attitudes, with 85 per cent of holidaymakers now saying that they would take extra care when selecting a policy.
Compare By Review hopes that this increased awareness will carry over to post-Brexit UK, when travel to EU countries will suddenly become a lot more complicated, with the various blanket conveniences to which UK holidaymakers have suddenly become accustomed suddenly evaporating.
“As well as comprehensive insurance being a must, the government is also advising that your passport should be valid for six months and that you should check your mobile phone roaming costs with your provider,” pointed out Compare By Review. “Pets are also being highlighted in this new campaign, with owners being advised that all pets being taken on a trip should be checked by a vet four months prior to your destination for them to make the necessary steps. These new rules may also influence your pet insurance, so it's wise to check your policy before you travel and to make sure your animal is covered abroad.”
As we begin to see some light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel, thoughts must start to turn to the other myriad challenges awaiting travellers and the travel industry. Hopefully, the industry and government figures can work together to properly educate the public and take advantage of the increased awareness of travel insurance, in order to make the coming Brexit transition as smooth as possible for holidaymakers – and their insurers.