Which? members complained they felt “tricked” into buying cover

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has said the airline will make it easier to opt out of buying travel insurance by the end of the year.

Which? members had complained that they were forced to use a dropdown menu of countries on Ryanair’s website to avoid buying travel insurance when booking a flight.

During the booking process, an alphabetised list of countries of residence pops up under the heading ‘travel insurance’. If customers don’t want to buy insurance they have to select ‘don’t insure me’, which is found between Denmark and Finland.

Which? members complained that they felt “tricked” into buying insurance with the current online system, and that the option to refuse insurance was “hidden”.

O’Leary told Which? there were plans to replace the list with clearer ‘don’t insure me’ or ‘insure me’ buttons by the end of the year.

However he disagreed that the ‘don’t insure me’ option was hidden, and said that 98% of Ryanair’s passengers could “find a way to decline insurance”.

Asked if he thought it was a mistake to sell travel insurance in this way, O’Leary said: “I think we make lots of little mistakes. But we’re good at correcting those little mistakes as we move along, which is why we have such a high rate of repeat business.”

The FCA plans to change the way add-on insurance products are sold after concluding that it led to many consumers shopping around less and getting poor value for money. The proposed measures include banning a pre-ticked opt in box.

Ryanair’s travel insurance is underwritten by UK General.