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Shining the spotlight on bank account ‘travel insurance add-ons’

Many banks now offer accounts that include travel insurance and other household insurances for a monthly fee.  These accounts appear to provide excellent value for money, offering a packaged solution for many customers. 

Here are a few observations we found when looking into some of the offered ‘insurance add-ons’:

insurance policy alongside a laptop

Travel Insurance

The recent pandemic has bought certain travel insurance cover limitations to light, as many policies failed to cover cancellation fees or cancelled flights.  Do you know if your Travel Insurance policy has this cover included?  If you have a rolling annual policy as part of your bank account offering it is worth checking for this type of cover within your existing policy.

Some travel insurance providers have added cover for coronavirus cancellations to their policies.  We identified that not all insurers have added this cover but the ones that have, in most cases, have a decent level of cover.  So, it is worth double-checking your own cover to see where you stand.

Other accounts also have add-ons for winter-sports cover and family cover which you should only include when you need it, as they can cause your monthly fee to shoot up.  Some give the option to only add-on for the months required, so check that you are not paying for something that you do not need.

If you’re over 65, make sure you always check the terms and conditions for your travel insurance, as some accounts charge an additional premium to provide your cover.  Likewise, some also stop offering cover when you reach a certain age.

It was also observed that in several instances the cover offered was quite basic, and the cost of buying this policy direct from an insurer is cheaper than via the bank in the form of a monthly charge.  So, it is possible that you could be paying a higher monthly cost for these policies than their retail value.  Check to see if your existing policy has all of the cover you need and do get a price market comparison.

Premium packaged accounts

Premium bank accounts slightly differ from packaged bank accounts, most banks have a premium bank account which is generally for people earning high salaries or those who hold significant investments with them.

These bank accounts often come with a lot of travel perks, like airport lounge access, discounted hotels, room upgrades and some even include excess insurance for rental cars.  As above, ensure that the cover offered on any insurances meet your needs.  Although you may not be paying for these as a monthly cost, do make sure that in the event you need to make a claim, you have the cover that is right for you.

Are you a holder of a premium-level credit card?  If so, it is likely you are familiar with all the added travel and lifestyle benefits included with such a credit card.  One of the normal benefits is a comprehensive travel insurance policy which can include cover for loss or damage to rental vehicles.

However, it may be worth checking the actual insurance cover provided by your credit card, as in some cases the additional rental excess cover only includes rentals that take place further than 150km from the cardholder’s registered home address.

So, if you have hired a vehicle to use while your vehicle is in for repair, or you hire a car to travel to a holiday destination in the UK or abroad, you may not be covered for the entire duration if the journey commenced near your home address.

Make sure you hire the correct type of vehicle too; many excess insurances only cover cars and will exclude any other type of vehicle.

It’s always worth checking your insurance cover as you may find your cover is not as comprehensive as you first thought. Don’t get caught out with a hefty repair bill, check your cover today

To summarise, it is worthless paying a monthly fee for an insurance policy that doesn’t suit your needs or payout when you make a claim, so make sure you check the terms and conditions before signing up for one of these bank accounts or credit cards. It is a false economy to pay more for your insurance needs through a monthly charge and not necessarily have the right insurance to meet your needs and demands.

Date Created: 16/06/2021

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