What is holiday company travel insurance?
Arranging a holiday is frequently complicated and stress-inducing, so being able to take care of the booking and insurance in one go – or through the same firm – is a tempting convenience.
That's why so many package holiday companies and airlines are also in the insurance business – allowing customers to bundle in travel cover while they pay for their flights and accommodation, or offering it to them after they've bought their holiday.
The question is, does this convenience come at a cost? We've rated insurance from some of the UK's biggest package holiday and tour operators.
Holiday company travel insurance reviewed
We've reviewed the cover on offer from 16 insurance policies sold by eight travel firms: Barrhead Travel, Exodus Travels, Hays Travel, Jet2, Love Holidays, On The Beach, Saga and Virgin Atlantic.
Should I buy my travel insurance from my holiday company?
The cover available from the holiday companies we looked at was a mixed bag when compared with policies you can buy elsewhere.
While some policies impressed in our analysis, well over half had scores of under 63% - the average. So before buying, carefully check if the holiday company's insurance contains everything you want.
Here are five things you should consider:
1. Is insurance through a holiday company cheaper?
Not necessarily. As you'll find when buying your insurance through any other channel, cover sold by holiday companies can come at a reasonable cost, or may be eye-wateringly expensive.
2. How much insurance do I need if I'm with a good holiday company?
Depending on how you've bought your holiday, you may benefit from protections that make some parts of your insurance less necessary.
Similarly, the cost of your holiday will dictate how much cancellation cover you'd need if it fell through.
However, there are elements of travel insurance that are less likely to be duplicated elsewhere – these include cover for medical expenses, or having to cancel a trip because of a personal emergency.
3. Do I have to buy my holiday company's insurance?
No. Some holiday companies may require that you have insurance in place, but this doesn't mean it has to be theirs.
Wherever you buy cover, however, you should buy it as soon as you can. That way, you benefit immediately from cancellation cover.
4. How do I find out what's covered?
The best place to find out what's covered in your policy is in a document called the 'policy wording'.
This should be made available to you before buying the cover. Check that what's written here aligns with your expectations of the policy. If points are unclear, contact the insurer.
- Find out more: travel insurance – the basics
5. Will the insurance cover my pre-existing conditions?
If you've not been asked to declare your pre-existing conditions and offered a quote that specifically mentions them, you should assume they're probably not covered and contact the insurer to check.
- Find out more: travel insurance and medical conditions
What protections do I get by buying a package holiday?
You also benefit from Atol protection if you've booked a package that includes flights. This means you get your money back if the holiday provider goes bust, or repatriated if you're already abroad.
- Find out more: how else your holiday is protected.