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Seven shocking facts about travel insurance

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    Seven shocking facts about travel insurance

    Seven shocking facts about travel insurance

    By Insurancewide.com
    Last updated January 11 2005

    Seven things you never knew about travel insurance.

    Travellers who buy their insurance from a travel agent when deciding on their holiday package are wasting about £100 million every year on over-priced policies; that’s money they could have spent on enjoying their holiday!

    You can find great deals online. MSN Money’s insurance provider, Insurancewide, offers an annual, multi-trip policy for a family of two adults and three children under 18. It costs just £84.99 (inc. US and Canada). Compare that with Thomas Cook’s annual insurance policy: at the time of writing it costs £215 and does not provide the same level of cover. By not using the travel agent you’ll save £130.01.
    Despite their policies being far more expensive, travel agents account for about half of all travel insurance policies sold in the UK. In 2001 travel agents made up 58% of the travel insurance market, about £326 million.
    Travel agents are not required to have their insurance products regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). This is in direct contrast to other providers of financial services.
    The Consumers Association has long been a critic of travel agents that sell financial products. Its spokesperson commented: “It doesn’t make sense that the level of protection you get against mis-selling is dependent on where you choose to buy your travel insurance.”
    If you buy an FSA regulated product (such as a travel insurance policy that was NOT sold by a travel agent), you have access to the Financial Ombudsmen Service if things go wrong. The Ombudsmen is independent and regulated by statute, which enables it to investigate and take action against rogue sellers of insurance policies.
    The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) offers an arbitration service, but this is self-regulated by the travel industry. If you were to have a problem with the policy provided to you by a travel agent there would be very little you could do about it.
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