The postponement of the regulation of travel insurance sold as part of a holiday package has raised some concerns in the broker market. Defaqto analyses travel products from both sources and also looks at home and pet cover

Using the criteria that Defaqto's 2003 travel insurance report is based on, a range of products across all distribution channels is examined.

Marks and Spencer comes out top, with high levels of cover for baggage and one of only a handful of policies to include new-for-old cover on baggage claims.

The Thomson and Lunn Poly products provide a good level of cover, although the price of these brochure products might prove expensive.

The Cosmos and Worldchoice products fall down on excesses, both how they are applied and their overall amount. Their baggage cover provides only average levels of baggage cover coupled with the need to provide receipts for items costing over £50.

The Cosmos product available via a brochure and the Worldchoice product available to a number of Worldchoice agents to be sold with any holiday have one major distinguishing feature - price. The Worldchoice product costs less than a third of the price of the Cosmos policy for a family of four travelling to Europe for 17 days.

To truly be at ease while on the beach it is important to know that your possessions are being well looked after. A number of home contents products are analysed. From this, two products from very different providers prove to be head and shoulders above their competitors.

The Marks and Spencer product underwritten by Aviva and the Hiscox 505 product offer consistently high levels of contents cover on an accidental damage basis.

Marks and Spencer Premier Home Insurance benefits include:

  • Accidental damage as standard
  • No inner limit or single item limit on valuables
  • No limit on contents in the open or in outbuildings
  • No limit on loss of water or freezer contents cover.
  • The concern for the welfare of a pet does not diminish while on holiday and indeed some travellers may wish to take their dog on holiday.

    The pet policies analysed here are aimed at dog owners and provide cover for vets fees while anywhere in Europe and also cover against the cancellation or curtailment of a holiday due to the ill health of a pet.

    The latter is rarely covered under a standard travel policy and is arguably a worthwhile feature with indemnity limits ranging from £500 (Pinnacle and Halifax) to £3,000 (Lloyds TSB).

    The best of breed for the criteria selected are the Pinnacle and Halifax products which are essentially the same product.

    Benefits of the Pinnacle and Halifax product include:

  • Lifetime cover
  • £5,000 vet's fees per incident
  • European cover as standard
  • £500 if a holiday is cancelled or curtailed due to loss or illness.
  • Drawbacks include:

  • No cover for death by illness
  • Cover for loss or theft of pet limited to £500.
  • To download a PDF of this article as it appears in the magazine click pg 10 pg 11 .