Insurance & Savings Ombudsman’s top tips to avoid holiday havoc

3 January 2015

The Insurance & Savings Ombudsman has five top tips for travellers over the holiday season.

“After twenty years of dealing with insurance and financial services complaints, the ISO Scheme has some warnings and recommendations,” says Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Karen Stevens.

“Unfortunately things do go wrong when people are on holiday. We want to make sure they know what to do to avoid disappointment later on,” says Karen. “Many of the complaints we look at could have been avoided if people knew earlier what steps to take. We remind you to:

1. Read your insurance policy carefully to understand any limitations on your insurance cover. Common misunderstandings include jewellery only being covered if you are wearing it or it is locked in a safe, restrictions regarding your loss of someone else’s belongings and no cover if something is stolen from your home by someone you have allowed to be there, for example a house guest or tradesperson.

2. Report incidents immediately – this goes for stolen, lost or damaged belongings and accidents. Contact the police if appropriate and contact your insurer as soon as you can and ask for the information they need. Often insurers will ask for copies of police reports, receipts, or proof of ownership of stolen items before they will pay a claim.

3. Remember to take reasonable care of your belongings. Make sure you lock your house and close the windows, and keep precious items locked away; make sure your car is locked, and don’t leave gifts or valuable items in your car where they can be seen.

4. Drive carefully and safely, and comply with your licence conditions. If you are driving a car in breach of your restricted or learner’s licence, it is unlikely your insurance policy will cover you (or your parents) if an accident occurs. This could mean you (or your parents) end up paying for the damage - not only to your own car, but also for damage to any other car or property.

5. Renew your insurance before you go away if it is due for renewal. If you do not pay your premiums, it is likely your insurance will automatically be cancelled and you won’t be covered for anything that happens after that date.

Remember the tips and enjoy your holiday!