Generally, tourist destinations rely on tourism to help keep them afloat. As such, traveling can become incredibly expensive because some things become more expensive than they would be at home. However, according to financial expert Martin Lewis, one thing in particular is always “excessive”.
Martin Lewis Shares Insight
In July of 2023, Martin Lewis disclosed in a newsletter that it’s best to avoid renting a car if possible. He explained that customers are coerced into buying “excess cover insurance”. Backing that up he shared stories of people who’d had bad experiences picking up their rentals.
“Car hire usually includes basic insurance, yet at the pick-up desk, they almost always try to push you to get ‘excess cover insurance’.” Martin Lewis explained. It can cost as much as £25/day (roughly $31 USD). Furthermore companies use “scare stories of huge bills for just a scratch – or sometimes implying you have to do it.” He said.
Martin Lewis also explains that car insurance should be bought in advance. This maximizes the possibility of a cheaper rate and helps to avoid the hassle of dealing with the salesperson. He estimates that prepaid insurance should cost around £2 a day, roughly $2.50 USD.
Comparing to Save Money
Martin Lewis, originally from Manchester, also shares that many British residents also have to leave £1,000 (roughly $1,200 USD) refundable deposit and that the sales rep will likely “argue that prepaid insurance won’t work”. His recommendation is to “just keep calm and carry on”. Fortunately, there are a few comparison sights that can be helpful when determining how to find the best rates. Money Saving Expert is the company run by Martin Lewis himself. Meanwhile, other popular sites include Compare the Market and Go Compare. Looking at car rental places and insurance options outside of the airport could save travelers around $200. Martin Lewis also explains that it’s best to travel with your own things. This way you don’t have to pay outrageous prices to rent things like GPS or car seats. Other sites that compare low prices on hotels, flights, or rental cars include Trivago, Expedia, and Orbitz.
Although it’s a hassle to lug around a large and heavy car seat, many airlines have the option of checking it to the final destination free of charge.
Meanwhile, in April, he was asked a question when appearing on This Morning regarding holiday compensation. A grieving mother was unsurprisingly forced to cancel her plans. His advice was that travel insurance should cover the cost of all her cancellations due to the sad and unexpected circumstances.
The grieving mother explained to Martin Lewis and audience, that she had taken all the proper steps to getting a refund. However, she never received any reimbursement. “If you’re not getting that refund, you need to understand why,” he said.
Empathizing with Consumers
He went on to explain that in the UK they have a “financial regulatory body” called the FCA (The Financial Conduct Authority), whose purpose is to assist travelers who “haven’t had their needs resolved”. The process is quite easy as it’s only a form to be filled out. Furthermore, the form can be done online it can be submitted any time that works within busy schedules. “You’ve done absolutely everything right and one would hope the travel insurance company would treat you with a bit more care.”
“My rule on travel insurance is to get it ASAP, as soon as you book, in case heaven forbid, something happens to stop you going away beforehand.” He concluded. Additionally, it’s recommended that you have your policy number and the insurer’s “emergency assistance telephone number”.
Interestingly, the US doesn’t have an office like this. However, so long as someone reads all the rules and regulations of their travel insurance guidelines, the US does have consumer protection acts, that generally covers most concerns including discrepancies involving travel insurance. Moreover, the US has a “Financial Regulatory System” in which a number of major “operations” occur, with one entity matching a similar description as the FCA. The SEC, Security and Exchange Commision, which is an “independent government agency” that oversees “securities laws“.
Accomplishments of Martin Lewis
However, that isn’t Martin Lewis’ only great advice. In fact, he’s helped people worldwide to save, learn to better manage their finances, and embark on new business ventures to build their financial standing. In fact, Martin Lewis is the founder of ” the UK’s biggest consumer website. Born in Manchester, Martin Lewis now lives in London with his family. He’s also appeared on television shows and in Podcasts, offering wise financial advice to UK’s citizens. An estimated 16 million and counting, use the MoneySavingExpert site. Advertised to “cut bills and find deals, save cash, and campaign for financial justice”.
Amazingly, the organization has taken part in charitable works including a mental health, and a covid poverty fund. “Once you understand that, then it feels important to acknowledge that what comes with that is a responsibility to give back. And that doesn’t just mean writing a cheque, but by fully engaging in projects too, and giving them the same energy, you give the day job.” He explained.
In contrast, Martin Lewis was recently the subject of backlash when multiple “customers” filed complaints against him after losing thousands of dollars following his advice. Women came forward claiming they’d fallen victim to his advertisements backing or encouraging investments into cryptocurrency. However, Martin Lewis maintains that he would never advertise for those methods of financial investments so be aware of any possible fraudulent activity.
- “What is the FCA?” Dow Jones
- “Martin Lewis Biography.” MSE
- “Martin Lewis issues warning to anyone going abroad this summer.” Metro. Brooke Davies July 31, 2023.
- “Woman loses £40,000 after falling for scam using Martin Lewis in its adverts.” Mirror. Ruby Flanagan August 14, 2023.
- “The U.S. Financial Regulatory System.” CFR. Lee Hudson Teslik. October 1, 2008.