Insurance provider, AXA has launched an independent travel insurance, despite the present financial turmoil’s that are due to the credit crunch.
In spite of the increasing economic gloom, the holiday season is approaching and millions of Brits will be preparing to travel abroad over the summer months. But AXA warns that increasing numbers of people arranging their own holidays may be leaving themselves exposed despite taking out travel insurance.
Over the last few years the number of Independent Travelers has overtaken the number of Package Holiday Travelers. Internet access and low-cost airlines have helped escalate this trend – in 2006 over 16 million Independent Travelers headed overseas for holidays between April and September.
However, insurance provision has not kept pace with the changing profile of the British holidaymaker and Independent Travelers, can find that there are gaps in their insurance cover, which AXA are addressing with their Independent Travelers cover, available with AXA travel insurance from their website, axa.co.uk/travelinsurance.
The new product is an optional extension which costs as little as an additional £10 for annual European cover. It covers travelers for a number of areas such as problems with flight cancellations or delays, missed connections or the customer being denied boarding.
With a package holiday, the tour operator or travel agent is legally required to make suitable alternative arrangements for such eventualities, but the independent traveller must make and pay for their own arrangements.
Edward Dutton, AXA’s Personal Insurance Director said: “We are aware from our own claims area that Independent Travellers have run into problems with their travel insurance and a recent report from Defaqto underlined the need for insurers to offer cover that helps customers when things go wrong – the things that would normally be picked up by a tour operator or travel agent if it were a package holiday.
Dutton continued: “We believe that the rise of the Independent Traveller is something that all insurers should be addressing; as the Ombudsman pointed out in his latest report – ‘There is clearly a mismatch in what insurers intend to offer and the cover that consumers believe they are buying.'”
The additional cover offered by this optional extension includes, delayed departure compensation for delays exceeding 5 hours occurring at the departure point of any connecting flights or booked public transportation on both the outbound and return journeys.