Direct Line is lobbying the Government to ban "insurance bundling" – where a policy is sold alongside another product – in its forthcoming Consumer Bill.

The direct writer alleged this week that travel agents are using back door tactics to coerce holidaymakers into buying expensive travel insurance.

It claims these practices are circumventing the legislation introduced last November which stopped travel agents selling insurance with discount holidays, and was intended to allow consumers to shop around.

"By banning the tying-in of holiday discounts with compulsory travel insurance purchases last year, the Government's efforts to open up the travel insurance market have simply scratched the surface," said Direct Line managing director Graham Ross.

Tactics Direct Line found include:
- Bundling free insurance into the cost of the holiday
- Making insurance a condition of the booking
- Refusing to confirm holiday details until cover details are provided
- Vetting of alternate policies
- Automatically adding the cost of insurance to the invoice unless the customer refuses it.