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Moneynet blasts high street travel agents for exorbitant insurance premiums

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Moneynet blasts high street travel agents for exorbitant insurance premiums

* Holidaymakers taken for a ride with ‘extortionate’ high street travel insurance premiums
* Single trip premiums not regulated by FSA – consumers vulnerable
* Buying online cheap, convenient and transparent

Holidaymakers are today advised to avoid buying costly insurance from high street travel agents.

Online financial comparison site www.moneynet.co.uk shows in its latest figures that major high street players like Thomas Cook, Thomson and Travelcare, which between them account for around 70 per cent of the travel insurance market#, levy premiums that are typically twice as expensive as buying cover online (see results below).

“There is no excuse for travel agents to charge these exorbitant prices,” said Moneynet Chief Executive Richard Brown.

“Single trip travel insurance can be obtained direct from a broker at very reasonable prices. The difference in price can in our view only be accounted for by the commission that some agents are taking from the insurance company. As usual it is the consumer who loses out because of travel agents’ greed.”

Brown also warned holidaymakers that they are not fully protected by the Financial Services Authority when buying single trip cover from the high street.

“The FSA does cover annual premiums bought through high street outlets, but single trip cover, which is very popular with holidaymakers, is not under the watchdog’s remit,” said Brown.

Another issue for potential concern is that different levels of travel cover are available – e.g., gold, silver and bronze. It is important for holidaymakers to understand the level of cover being purchased and to compare like with like.

“You have to ask yourself if a travel agent – who is more often than not only concerned with commission – actually knows what level of cover is most appropriate. At Moneynet we have an at-a-glance system, so you know exactly what you are getting,” added Brown.

Results:
The quotes below are for a two week trip to Europe for a family of four (two adults and two children under 16): single premium

Moneynet
£35.10
Travelcare
£75
Thomas Cook
£120
Thomson
£124

Source: Moneynet, April 25, 2005

# Figures are from the Association of British Insurers, February 2005

About the Author

Moneynet.co.uk is the UK’s most established personal finance research and data website.

Press enquiries:
Richard Brown, 020 8313 9030, info@moneynet.co.uk
Website: http://www.moneynet.co.uk
ADDRESS: Moneynet
Sussex House
8-10 Homesdale Road
Bromley
Kent
BR2 9LZ

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