The Research Department uses data from its Aequos database to analyse products available from brokers for travel insurance, buildings insurance and mortgage payment protection insurance
Single-trip travel insurance
For those people about to go on holiday who need travel insurance it is still not too late to arrange it direct. We looked at a range of products from the direct providers and found a very wide range of cover levels on offer.
Marks & Spencer's recently launched travel policy, underwritten by AXA, is a clear leader on the criteria analysed. It is currently available only by telephone.
Key features of the policy include:
Some of the other leading direct writers and specialist travel insurers form a trailing pack, all still offering good levels of cover. The only major differences between the policies are that most have inner limits which are slightly lower than the Marks & Spencer policy.
Of note are the following:
Unlike with contents policies there is a lot less variation between buildings insurance providers, primarily because the core covers within buildings are pretty much standard. (see table, right)
The main differences between most policies in this market are the less important add-ons.
HSBC Select's Gold cover is very wide reaching, with R&SA Choices Extra not far behind.
Benefits of the HSBC Select policy include:
However, it isn't top in all areas. R&SA's Choices Extra policy offers the following benefits: up to £10,000 in legal fees to remove squatters from the premises and £50,000 of legal expenses (compared to HSBC's £25,000), underwritten by First Assist.
The HSBC Select Gold product offers good all-round levels of cover. However, a number of other insurer's products are very close behind.
Mortgage payment protection
With major job losses being announced on a regular basis by large companies, many people may be looking at taking out some form of payment protection for their key expenditures.
We looked at one area - mortgage payment protection. There are a plethora of products available, with many providers offering a choice of covers, and excess periods. We concentrated on policies offering full accident, sickness and unemployment (ASU) cover with a 30-day or less excess period. NatWest Bank's policy offers very good levels of cover.
Key features of the policy include
Overall the policy offers a good level of cover, particularly with regards to the lack of restrictions on stress and backache claims which many policies usually include.