Make sure your holiday cover is not booked too late

Cancelling a holiday is the most common reason for making a claim on travel insurance.

And with older people more likely than younger travellers to fall ill before they head away for a break, the importance for them to take out insurance cover in good time is particularly important.

The average holiday cancellation date for people aged 50 and older is more than two weeks before the departure date. Policies timed to come into force not until the day of departure do not cover this eventuality, and it leaves holidaymakers out of pocket to the tune of £1,000 on average, according to research by Saga Travel Insurance.

If you want your insurance policy to cover this sort of cancellation, make sure it comes into force from the time you book your trip.

“No one books a holiday thinking the worst, but if you don’t want to risk getting financially burnt then you need to pack the right travel cover along with the suntan lotion,” says Saga’s Roger Ramsden.

“Too many people find themselves with a financial hangover having booked and then cancelled a holiday.”

The cost of cancelling can quickly rise once additional costs are added in. As well as flights and hotels, you need to consider things such as pre-paid excursions, rental cars and airport transfers.

According to Saga’s research, the average holiday cancellation for over-50s comes 17 days before departure, and the most common factors behind these cancellations are death, illness and injury.