Martin Lewis has shared his 'big annual warning' about travel insurance to help save Brits 'hassle' when travelling this summer. 

Speaking to This Morning, the Money Saving Expert founder urged holidaymakers to get their travel insurance 'ASAB' or as soon as you book.

"Do not leave it a week or two, do not leave it before you go on holiday," the personal finance expert urged.

The broadcaster and journalist added: "This is not going to sound nice, but I need to tell you why.

@thismorning How long, after you've booked your holiday, should you buy travel insurance? Martin Lewis has the answer to help make sure you don't get caught out! ūüíį #ThisMorning #MartinLewis #TravelInsurance ‚ô¨ original sound - This Morning

"The reason why is in the run up to summer each year, I'll be doing  the phone-in here or somewhere else and I will get a question that goes something like this,

"Hi, I've had my holiday booked, I've just found out that I've got cancer and I'm gonna need chemotherapy or another serious condition and I'm going to need treatment.

"I've been in touch with the airline and the hotel, and they say they won't give me a refund. What do I do?

"And I say: "Well, that's what travel insurance is for.

"And they say: "Well I haven't got around to doing it yet.

"And then, there's no answer. ASAB."

Martin Lewis issues advice to Brits travelling in 2024

The Money Saving Expert has previously hosted phone-ins and Money Show Live specials specifically on travel.

Lewis has outlined his five 'must dos' to Brits hoping to jet off to somewhere sunny.

Martin Lewis issues money tips to British holidaymakers

Book your travel insurance as soon as you book (ASAB)

The financial journalist urged Brits to book their travel insurance as soon as they book their holiday for a "very simple" reason.

Martin added: "Much of what you're paying for is to cover you for eventualities that happen before you go on holiday that stop you from going."

The broadcaster shared an example of a person who had been diagnosed with cancer and who could no longer go on holiday since they needed chemotherapy treatment over the summer.

However, the journalist noted that there are many other reasons this could happen.

Lewis urged holidaymakers to "get it in place" or organise an annual policy but he did admit that the latter can cause a little confusion.

The money-saving expert said that if you pay yearly and your coverage runs out in July, but you have a holiday booked for August your insurance will still cover you if something happens before July.

However, you would need another annual policy to continue your coverage once it ends to cover the trip itself.

In the podcast, he advised that sticking with the same travel insurance with an annual policy can be simpler as long as they are giving you a reasonable price.

Check your passport expiry dates and the entry requirements for the country you're flying to

Messenger Newspapers: Check your passport's expiry date and the entry requirements of the country that you're travelling to. (PA)Check your passport's expiry date and the entry requirements of the country that you're travelling to. (PA) (Image: PA)

The presenter has also urged Brits to check the expiry dates on their passports as well as the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to.

Certain countries require Brits to have several months still left on their passport before they enter.

When it comes to the European Union (EU), most countries specify that your passport needs to be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave the country.

Meanwhile, the likes of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) require that your passport is valid for at least six months from the day you enter the country.

Your passport also has to be less than 10 years old on the day that you enter, Mr Lewis reminded travellers.

This is due to an old system that allowed you to renew your passport and add the months that were left on top of its validity so you could hypothetically have a passport that was 10 years and 4 months old.

Brits need a GHIC over an EHIC

Before we left the EU, Brits could take their European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) abroad and be covered for any medical treatment at a state-run hospital or GP practice.

You would only have to pay as much as those who live locally do.

However, after Brexit, Brits now need a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which does work in the same way.

‚ÄúIt's absolutely crucial,‚ÄĚ Martin said.

“It can help mean that you don't have to pay the excess on your travel insurance.

"It means you can go and use a GP for free.‚ÄĚ

If you don't have one when you travel, you can sometimes apply retrospectively, but it is far easier to get one in advance.

UK citizens need to check section 4 b on their card to see if it's valid.

If it is out of date, go to the official gov.uk or the NHS's website to get your new card. - GHICs are free and there is no such thing as a fast track for this card.

Hiring a car abroad

Messenger Newspapers: Martin Lewis shared key tips on saving money on your holidays on his BBC Radio 5 Live show ( PA)Martin Lewis shared key tips on saving money on your holidays on his BBC Radio 5 Live show ( PA)

Generally,¬†hiring a car abroad is ‚Äúpretty easy‚ÄĚ and there are plenty of comparison websites you can use to find a good deal, Mr Lewis shared.

The Money Saving Expert did warn that prices have gone up 'substantially' following the Covid pandemic.

You should book as far in advance as possible to get the cheapest rates and the most choice since prices tend to "rocket" going into summer.

"The thing that you have to watch for is the insurance," Martin warned.

Many car hire companies will use ‚Äúscare tactics‚ÄĚ to get you to pay for excess cover beyond the basic insurance you may already have.


Recommended reading

What medical conditions do you have to declare for travel insurance?

Martin Lewis shares if Premium Bonds are really ‚Äėworth it‚Äô


This would be to cover the excess you may have to pay if the car picks up a scratch, he explained.

He added: "This excess cover can be really costly, you can be talking £150 a week extra."

If you don't want that insurance, they tend to require you to pay a deposit of between £500 and £1,000 and they will often only accept credit cards for the deposit.

Additionally, it must be in the name of the person who booked the car.

Instead, Lewis suggested stand-alone excess cover for a tenth of the cost and there are lots of codes online and comparison sites like MoneyMaxim can help you.