Travel agents 'mislead public on insurance'Shoddy tactics hit those buying cover, says poll

31 December 2008

Airport sign directing travellers to the terminal.

Many holidaymakers have been hit by shoddy sales tactics from travel agents pushing insurance, according to a poll published today.

According to the survey, some consumers have been wrongly told that they couldn't book their holiday unless they took out insurance offered at the time by their travel agent. And this mis-selling affected 5% of those who'd bought insurance from travel agents over the last 12 months.

Travel cover sold by travel agents

The Sainsbury's Travel Insurance poll comes a day before new rules will bring travel agents within the reach of the regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Sainsbury's Travel Insurance manager Sam Marrs said: 'Our research shows that up to 8.14 million people could have bought insurance from travel agents over the past 12 months and the new regulation will provide consumers with valuable, much-needed protection.'

If your travel agent has given you misleading advice, you can follow our guide to making a complaint

Best Buy travel insurance

Which? finance expert Martyn Saville said: 'It is vital that people shop around to get the best travel insurance deal. You shouldn't automatically accept your travel agent's travel insurance policy as there are usually cheaper alternatives available, particularly from Best Buy online travel insurance providers such as Travel Insurance Web and Insure For Travel.

'This poll showed that 16% of people buying insurance from a travel agent weren't asked about pre-existing medical conditions, while 17% weren't given full details of what they were covered for. Not only were these holidaymakers probably paying over the odds for cover but they may be unable to make a claim if the worst happens while they're abroad.'

Which? advice is that whether you're looking for a single trip travel insurance policy or annual travel insurance, always check that the cover you're getting matches your needs.Which? Best Buys can help you get the best travel insurance deal. For more information about what travel insurance policies include, see the Which? guide called .

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