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Inadequate travel insurance puts independent travellers at risk

08 September 2009 / by Andy Davies

Independent travellers are being urged to make sure they have appropriate travel insurance before travelling as airline operator SkyEurope files for bankruptcy.

Research by Marks & Spencer Money found that around 27million independent holidays were taken by UK travellers in 2008, which is an increase of 25 per cent since 2003.

M&S attributes this increase to the popularity of low-cost airlines and online travel services, which makes booking flights and hotels easier for travellers, but says many travellers are unaware that some travel insurance policies will not cover them in the event of cancellations or delays.

M&S believes that independent travellers run the risk of paying out additional costs for flights and accommodation if their flight is cancelled.

Steve Price, head of general insurance at M&S, said: "Whilst passengers booking flights as part of a package holiday enjoy protection in the event of an airline collapse, travellers booking flights independently can often find themselves stranded and out of pocket."

M&S travel insurance offers Independent Traveller cover as standard through its Premier annual multi-trip insurance, while it is also available as an optional extra with single trip travel insurance.

Travellers who take up the cover are protected if for example, flights are cancelled or delayed, incurring additional accommodation and flight costs or if the travel provider ceases to operate.

Mr Price, commenting on the insurance, added: "Traditional policies may not cover the increasing variety of eventualities faced by the modern traveller. The Independent Traveller cover provided by the M&S travel insurance policy has been designed to meet the changing needs of our customers.

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