Chester, United Kingdom (PressExposure) December 11, 2008 -- M&S Money, the financial services division of Marks and Spencer, has reported that up to one million people are planning on visiting friends and family abroad this festive season. As such, the financial services company is encouraging those travelling to make sure travel insurance is at the top of their Christmas shopping list.
M&S Money has revealed that DIY holidays have become more popular than traditional package holidays in recent times, increasing by six million in just five years*, with fewer than half of Christmas trips abroad booked as complete packages from a travel agent.**
The rise of independent travel makes insurance even more important, but further research reveals that 49%*** of consumers don't know what their travel insurance covers them for. For example, most policies don't offer cover for the collapse of an airline, as thousands of people found to their cost in recent months.
However, M&S Premier Travel Insurance now includes independent traveller cover as part of its annual multi trip policy and as an optional extra with single trip and standard trip travel insurance. This means people who book a holiday without using a tour operator will be covered if their flight is cancelled and if other parts of their holiday are affected.
Judith Roberts, M&S Money Insurance Manager, commented: "For most people, Christmas is all about spending time with friends and family, even if that means making a trip abroad. Travel insurance was originally designed for the package holiday market and we felt that it was time to improve our policy as so many people now book independently. For example, if your flight is cancelled you may be unable to claim for subsequent connections and face the cost of new flights or accommodation. M&S Premier Travel Insurance is one of only a few policies that covers these types of situations that are often not included in traditional policies."
Notes To Editors: * Mintel - Holiday Review, Leisure Intelligence, March 2007 - 19 million holidays booked independently in 2002, compared to 26 million in 2006. ** YouGov - 2,002 adults (18+) surveyed online between 14-16 April 2008 *** YouGov - 2,002 adults (18+) surveyed online between 14-16 April 2008