A survey released by consumer advice firm Which? found almost 70% of its members who submitted a travel insurance cancellation claim in early April were still awaiting a decision from their provider.

In its sample of 391 claimants, the company reported 19.95% had their claims accepted, 12.28% had theirs rejected, and 67.77% hadn’t been given a decision on whether their policy will pay out.

Which? said many of its members that hadn’t made a claim were offered vouchers from their travel providers, instead of cash, and warned consumers that accepting these, or credit notes, as compensation, invalidates the possibility of making a claim against a cancellation policy.

The consumer advocacy firm said legally, consumers should be able to reject vouchers and get cash refunds instead, but many holiday firms are ignoring this rule.

It added after speaking to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) that policy providers will likely advise customers to pursue this legal right as the first port-of-call before making a claim.

The ABI told Which?:  “Where travel operators have a legal obligation to refund customers, insurers expect them to honour that legal agreement.

“Insurance cancellation cover kicks in when no other safety net is available with insurers expecting to pay out £275m in cancellation costs due to Covid-19.”