Saga reveals the true cost of cancelling your holiday

Monday 3 August 2015

• Almost 18 million over 50s will go on holiday this year • On average people cancel their holiday 17 days before their departure date • Most common reasons for cancelling a holiday are illness, death and injury

Saga reveals the true cost of cancelling your holiday

Almost 18 million over 50s* are planning to go on holiday this year and while the majority will stock up on sun cream in anticipation, some won’t actually make it to their intended holiday destination according to Saga Travel Insurance.

Analysis of claims data shows that cancelling a holiday is the most common claim that over 50s make on their travel insurance policy. However, it could be extremely expensive if they don’t have any insurance, as the average cost of a cancellation claim is around £1,000**.

This amount could climb even higher as lots of people pre-pay for excursions, book rental cars and pay for cattery or kennel fees in advance; all of which can be claimed for on their travel insurance policy.

However, packing the right travel insurance may not seem as fun as picking up new swimwear or designer shades, but it is just as crucial as packing the sun tan lotion if you don’t want to get financially burnt. 

Analysis of claims data shows that over 50s are most likely to cancel their holiday 17 days before their scheduled departure date***, however many will have to cancel just 24 hours before they are due to jet off. Saga is urging people to buy insurance as soon as they have booked their holiday so that they are covered for any eventuality.

The most common reasons people have to cancel a holiday are because someone falls ill, gets injured or someone passes away. Other common reasons people cite for cancelling their holiday are strikes or hotels that they have booked to stay in closing down.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, commented: “No one books a holiday thinking the worst but if you don’t want to risk getting financially burnt then you need to pack the right travel cover along with the sun tan lotion. Too many people find themselves with a financial hangover having booked and then cancelled a holiday.”

If people have already booked a holiday and then the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) advises against travelling to that specific country then they will be covered on their insurance to cancel their holiday, so people should always check the FCO website before travelling.

However, if Saga Travel Insurance customers are unsure if it is safe to travel somewhere or if they need any advice before they head abroad they can call Saga’s special travel assistance helpline on 0800 027 1337. If people are already abroad and need help they can call 020 8763 4879.


Notes to editors:
*Populus interviewed 7,005 Saga customers, all aged 50 and over, online between 12th and 21st December 2014.
**Analysis of Saga Travel Insurance claims data shows the average cancellation claim is for £918.
*** Based on analysis of Saga Travel Insurance claims data.

About Saga Travel Insurance
Saga Travel Insurance is a Which? Recommended provider and Defaqto 5 star rated. It offers wide-ranging cover including:
• Cover for most pre-existing medical conditions
• Up to £10 million emergency medical cover, which can pay for your return home, if necessary
• Up to £10,000 cover (per person, per trip) should you or your travelling companion have to cancel or abandon your trip
• Up to £5,000 for lost, stolen or damaged baggage so you’re not left out of pocket
• 24-hour English-speaking travel assistance helpline for advice before and while you are away.
• Plus, Saga has no upper age limit.

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