You’d automatically think that nobody in their right mind would purchase a travel insurance policy at an airport, prior to boarding their flight to somewhere sunny.
Yet you’d be wrong, as some last minute Charlie’s are doing just this, otherwise one UK travel insurer wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of setting up their stall at Gatwick Airport of late.
Providing a last-ditch service to holidaymakers who have left it to the 11th hour to arrange suitable cover, Columbus Direct has recently unveiled its bespoke self-service kiosks at the London-based airport, billing them as ‘an extra safety net for arranging that all-important cover’.
Responding to evidence that clearly indicates millions of sun and thrill-seekers jet off overseas without travel insurance of any description, Columbus Direct introduced these self-service kiosks which afford the forgetful the last minute opportunity to arrange an adequate travel insurance policy in just three minutes, according to the provider.
But the question is does this represent a cost-effective way in which to snap up vital cover for a trip abroad. Citing typically pricey airport-offering foreign exchange rates and duty-free perfumery as a case in point, the omens aren’t necessarily that encouraging. And the facts of the matter soon back up this fear when a quick Google search is completed.
Better Being Last Minute than Not At All When It Comes to Bagging Airport-Arranged Travel Insurance Policies
As it stands Columbus Direct are said to be charging in the region of £40 to cover a family of four heading off to Spain for week for those entertaining the idea of buying a last-gasp policy at Gatwick.
This compares somewhat unfavourably to purchasing the self-same destination single trip policy for under £10 with other providers, and even Columbus itself would charge under £14 for an identical plan if arranged in advance.
The same rule seems to apply the further afield the traveller is headed from Gatwick, with those planning on a fortnight Stateside having to stump up £65.76 where they to bag it in the departure lounge, as opposed to a mere £27 if the transaction was completed in advance. BT also discovered that an annual policy taken out with Columbus would only set the holidaymaker back £26.18. Or the equivalent of less than 2 weeks cover.
At the end of the day, any travel insurance is better than none at all, and Columbus is well aware that its airport policy deals are not cheap. That said last minute policies such as theirs could potentially come to the rescue of holidaymakers if they experience difficulties while overseas.
Well-documented medical costs in countries like America, where for example tourists could be forced to pay in excess of £6,000 for emergency healthcare if you were to break a leg, could leave travellers in financial disarray if they haven’t arranged sufficient coverage beforehand, whether months in advance or before they checked in at the airport.
What’s more, befalling accidents or illness during holidays isn’t the only concern that travel insurance would address, as travel cancellations and lost or stolen possessions (including bank cards) are common occurrences. So although late, sorting your travel insurance at the airport, although unconventional, is better than neglecting to do it per se.