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'Sting in the tail' of comparison website holiday insurance

11 May 2009 07:00

'Sting in the tail' of comparison website holiday insurance

Consumers should treat the recommendations of holiday insurance comparison websites with caution, according to a new survey by

Online timeshare travel insurance websites proclaim that they offer holidaymakers the best possible quotes, but research by the consumer magazine revealed that this is often accomplished through the use of hidden excess.

Investigating six of the most popular comparison websites, found that most obscured the true cost of excess charges, making it difficult for travellers to make like-for-like comparisons.

Researchers also found that details they entered were often changed to give cheaper, but not always better, results, while compulsory excesses were often added on top of voluntary ones without warning.

One website did not even make any mention at all of the compulsory excess charges on its insurance results page.

"Don't be fooled into thinking that online comparison sites are a one-stop shop - customers need to search around different sites and keep their wits about them," said Jess Ross, editor of

Earlier this month, Which? Holiday urged people to avoid budget hotels, after an undercover investigation revealed stained and mouldy mattresses, a blood stained duvet and food waste in five of the UK's most-visited budget establishments.ADNFCR-1320-ID-18998325-ADNFCR

Martin Rothwell, Senior Partner World First Travel Insurance, says:

Our travel insurance is used by members of many leading timeshare organisations because we cover timeshare management charges if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday. This cover is included automatically in our policies.