Jim Selwood and his partner Margaret were to stay at the Cricket St Thomas, a Regency mansion in Somerset where much of the TV comedy To The Manor Born was filmed.
The pair booked the £782 treat in March for later that month. But only hours after Margaret made the reservation online, Jim slipped and fractured his hip.
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The hotel is part of the Warner Hotels Leisure group, “and immediately after the accident I contacted them about changing the date for whenever it would be possible for us to travel. We still so much wanted to go,” Margaret told Crusader.
Because of that and the fact they had been happy customers before, she had been expecting a seamless transfer.
But when making the booking Margaret had missed clicking on a vital link to an insurance option. For £10 each she and Jim would have been covered for date alterations. Without that they now stood to lose their £792.
Margaret’s slip had compounded Jim’s. But given their regret in hindsight and their desire to visit still, we asked Warner if it could look again at what might be possible.
The tour operator did so and very fairly. Looking over a previous booking the couple had made, Warner confirmed that time they had taken out the protection plan.
So as a gesture of goodwill it was offering to hold the holiday balance for a year while taking a £35 per person admin charge, plus the cost of the insurance.
That meant Jim and Margaret “could use the £692 balance by March 2023”, said a spokesperson.
It’s an outcome that “benefits everyone, the couple accepted and “we are delighted, thank you,” they told Crusader.
(Couple’s names have been changed)
Why booking a holiday and taking out insurance at the same time is essential
It’s easy to miss something when you book online. Having a track record of taking out insurance really helped Jim and Margaret. But without that it would have been harder to argue their case for a date change.
Whenever you book a holiday, it’s essential to take out travel protection at the same time. This means you have immediate cover in place for any emergencies that crop up resulting in cancellation.
Holidaymakers continue to be caught out by not doing this, leading to massive losses, not least deposits.
As travel gets going again, the perennial problem of best value insurance for older people is back.
Premiums are rising and the golden rules for getting the best deal – so not cheap but affordable – are: look for a specialist, be that a company or a broker, think in advance what needs to be in place for you, check restrictions, declare all medical conditions and always update these before travelling.