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£22 "compulsory" cancellation insurance

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Dear All,


may I respectfully request your assistance on this my first issue, please?


I'm about to book a UK holiday cottage and I am informed that I must pay £22 per week per property compulsory cancellation insurance.

This is repeated in the Ts & Cs.

This is compulsory and costs £22 p.w. p.p. to be paid at time of booking.


Is this legal?

Or am I misassociating some other insurance for which competition is a requirement e.g. house insurance.



jet noise


chainsaw accidents are rarely trivial:D

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Dear ScarletPimpernel,


thanks for responding.


This is in full from the Ts & Cs:



This is compulsory and costs £22.00 per week per property to be paid at the time of booking. This is non-refundable.




Full repayment of the rent paid prior to cancellation in the event of cancellation of your holiday for any of the following reasons:



  1. Death, accident, sickness, compulsory quarantine, jury service, or witness summons of your self or any person with whom you intend to travel.
  2. Death, accident or sickness of the husband, wife, child, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, or close business associate of yourself or any person with whom you intend to travel.
  3. Your own home being rendered uninhabitable by fire, explosion, subsidence or malicious damage; or Police requesting your presence at home following burglary or attempted burglary at home or your place of business.
  4. Cancellation of leave by HM Armed Forces or HM Police.

It is a condition of the cover that all the above mentioned persons are in good health physically and mentally at the time of booking. Cover does not apply to any illness, disease, infirmity or disability for which medical advice or treatment is being received or awaited at the time of booking.


Cancellation cover does not apply to any direct or indirect consequence of an act of war or terrorism, or any hostile act by a foreign organisation; civil war or unrest, rebellion, revolution, riot, or similar event; storms or floods; epidemics or pandemics, such as avian bird flu or similar.





'Cancellation' means that the property will not be occupied by any members of your party.


If you have to cancel before you travel, please phone us immediately and confirm in writing to us the same day. We will then send you a claim form. A doctor's certificate or other relevant document will subsequently be required to support your claim.


If you have to cancel during your stay, please contact us immediately and before you vacate the property. Again evidence in support of your claim will be necessary. In the event of your holiday being cut short for any of the above reasons you will be reimbursed for the unused portion of your holiday rental. This only applies if the property is vacated by all members of your party.




If at any time before the start of your holiday, you wish to cancel for any reason, other than due to the reasons set out in Condition 11 then the rental is due in full and payment will be sought. Any legal fees that are incurred in pursuing payment will be borne by you.


If you confirm your cancellation to us in writing, we shall seek to relet the property at the best possible price but not necessarily at the advertised brochure/web site price. If successful, we will normally return the balance of rental to you less an administration fee of £25.



It is not the amount or quality of cover I am querying although I agree it is very expensive and has more exclusions than an exclusive thing.

Neither is it the requirement that having cancellation insurance is compulsory, although given the choice I would accept the risk as I usually do.


My objection is that the compulsory purchase of said insurance is from the holiday cottage rental company itself. I believe this to be anti-competitive and therefore possibly illegal.



jet noise


chainsaw accidents are rarely trivial:D

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I recall that whilst a tour operator/travel agent may make having insurance a condition of booking, they cannot dictate which insurer you use, provided that the policy you choose (or may already have) provides at least the same level of cover.


It's not unreasonable that someone renting out a cottage would wish to ensure that customers are insured against cancellation, but bear in mind that probably 40% of the premium will go to whoever is selling you the policy.


The condition at para 12 is contrary to the OFT Guidance on Debt Collection, incidentally - collection fees can only be charged when specific terms are met - and this doesn't do it. Makes me wonder how much care has gone into drafting the rest of it.


As an aside, I'd be interested to know who the insurer is - I've been hearing - on other means - many complaints about claims for cancellation due to the exigencies of HM Forces - and I've never seen a policy that simply covers 'cancellation of leave'.

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Dear ScarletPimpernel,


that is what I thought - they cannot dictate which insurer. I have received other advice however that this legislation whatever it may be applies only to foreign destinations. The lakes ain't foreign!



jet noise

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Dear NailPost,


I've tried another company and it is the same although the insurance is "included in the booking fee".


It seems this is endemic to the holiday lettings industry these days.


For me it is a sellers market as I have very specific wishes when it comes to holiday cottages. Usually I go for privately advertised places but I can't find one where I'm going this year,




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  • 1 month later...

I don't think they can force you to take out their own insurance. A lot of people who go on holiday more than once a year have an annual travel policy anyway, and therefore they wouldn't need another policy to cover a single trip. Otherwise a person would be insured twice, which whilst perfectly legal, could cause some hassle, as it means any claims payment would have to be shared 50/50 by both insurers.


Normally what you have to do is tell the travel agent (or whoever you're booking the holiday with) the name of your insurer, your policy number and the emergency claims hotline telephone number. They should note it down on their records. I've never been asked to send them a copy of the policy document, but if for some reason they refuse to accept the fact that you have your own insurance, you could try sending them a copy of your policy.

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  • 4 months later...
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