/ Money, Travel & Leisure

Do you buy travel insurance add-ons?

When you’re planning your holiday, do you have ‘flight cancellation insurance’ on your checklist alongside your passport and your holiday money? If so, are such travel insurance add-ons worth it?

Maybe you look to buy ‘flexible ticket insurance’ just in case you need to change the dates you fly on? And you always make sure your ‘airline failure insurance policy’ is packed just in case your airline goes belly-up while you’re on the beach?

If you buy any of these products, we want to know what you think about them.

Worthless travel insurance?

If you’ve paid for this kind of travel-based insurance policy in the past, maybe you should save your money, especially if you already have travel insurance.

Travel insurance is an essential especially for anyone travelling abroad, especially because of the medical cover provided as part of it. But the truth about additional policies, such as the ones I’ve mentioned above, is that the cover is limited. They can be hugely expensive for what they actually cover and if you already have a travel insurance policy, you’re probably covered anyway.

We’re about to investigate add-on travel-based insurance products like this, and we need your views to help shape our research. Have these travel insurance add-ons worked well for you? Or do you avoid them like the plague?


American Express gives me excellent travel insurance cover when I pay for my travel on an American Express card and when the merchant doesn’t accept American Express. However, in some cases the cover can incur additional costs:
1. Where the merchant (travel company) charges an additional fee to accept credit cards
2. Where American Express adds a 3% surcharge for transactions not in Sterling

I can’t complain about the first scenario, as it reflects the merchant’s costs of processing credit card transactions, but the second scenario is particularly unacceptable. Effectively American Express is charging a premium for travel insurance that is calculated at 3% of the travel’s price.

Chris says:
20 April 2015

Most travel companies charge a fee which is greater than the cost of processing the transaction – maybe Which can confirm this?

Surcharging for card payments by more than the cost of processing the transaction was made unlawful by the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 with effect from 6th April 2013.

I always thought the different activity packs on travel insurance were indicative (rather than specific to the activities listed):
Basic – safe activities where only the unfit and frail hurt themselves.
Group lead activities – bit more risk but you are with a professional.
Individual extreme sports or professional sports – you need specialist cover.
Which activities would fall in each category would vary with each insurer but I didn’t realise it is only the activities listed that are covered.

This makes no sense to me as how could any insurer possibly list all the different things people could do on holiday??! For instance some of the things we are considering are not listed but very safe, eg, going to a water park and some are a bit more risky but definitely not riskier than the things most insurers list as activities they cover, eg, coasteering and stand up paddle boarding. Then some of the things we are doing don’t even have a name so how could the insurer even list them: go-karts on a track on a ski slope, inflatable obstacle course in the sea and a cart in a metal half pipe down a hill. All these activities are with professional companies in EU countries and some have been operating more than a decade.

I appreciate I need to pay more but I have now tried lots of companies and can’t find any cover. Any ideas?

Cross posted as not sure which is right conversation.