Insurers are failing in their duty to ensure customers buy suitable travel insurance and are confusing them with "gobbledygook" policy wording, according to Which? magazine.
A report by the consumer watchdog states: "UK insurers are obliged to make sure you buy a policy suitable for your needs, but we know from our research that many are failing to do so. The industry must do more to explain travel insurance policies clearly to customers."
Which? considered 21 policies and thousands of premiums offered by large travel insurers.
It singled out Lloyds TSB, which it accused of living in a "Dickensian world" and Legal & General for "bamboozling" consumers with too many words.
As a result of its research Which? recommended that the industry, together with the ABI, should produce policy wording that is concise, free of jargon and follows a standard template.
It called for important restrictions to be displayed up front and said travel insurers should clearly define what they mean by terms such as 'relative' or 'valuable'.
The report states: "Insurance isn't just about price, it is also about getting the right kind of cover. However, when you consider that some policy documents consist of 50 pages of jargon and tortuous sentences, it's hardly surprising that people don't read or understand them."