According to a study released by UK-based Saga Travel Insurance, travelers who ensure that they already have travel insurance when they book and pay for a holiday are more likely to successfully claim back all of their money if the holiday is cancelled, compared to those who arrange travel cover less than a week before their trip.

The research revealed that people who leave buying their travel insurance to the last minute are likely to be left short-changed if holiday plans fail to go ahead. The statistics showed that 68% of consumers who purchase travel insurance well before their planned trip could claim some of the cost of their holiday back should it be cancelled, while only 52% who buy it in the last week before departure could make successful claims.

In addition, Saga revealed that UK holidaymakers could be in danger of not receiving the medical attention on holiday that they are entitled to, with 29% of people unaware that the E111 form, which allowed EU residents to obtain healthcare in any EU country, is now no longer valid, having now been replaced with the EHIC card.

Andrew Goodsell, chief executive of Saga Group, commented: This research clearly demonstrates the need to secure insurance well before you plan to travel as the cover is in force from the date it’s purchased, not just whilst you are actually away.