Are you covered? Holiday travel insurance essentials

With numerous companies now offering cheap and quick holiday travel insurance, it can be tempting to opt for the lowest premiums. Before you reach for the credit card though, it's worth going through a checklist of the kind of cover you require. For peace of mind, it's best to know you have adequate protection for every eventuality.

Insurance must-haves

  • The most important element of any holiday travel insurance policy is the medical cover. Although an EHIC card will ensure that you receive treatment for the same cost as a local in EU countries, travel insurance still has an important role to play. Look for policies that offer at least £2 million of cover if travelling in Europe or £5 million further afield. Also ensure your policy covers the costs of repatriation in an emergency.
  • Cancellation cover is important if you have to cancel or cut short your holiday due to bereavement or illness. Look for policies that will pay up to £3000.
  • The most common problem on holiday is the loss of valuables or baggage. Find policies that include only a minimal excess, but also be sensible and don't take your expensive diamond brooch on a trip to the beach. Most insurers will limit the sum for a single item to between £200 and £500. The most common items that are lost or stolen are cameras and mobile phones. Look for policies that offer new-for-old replacements.
  • Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance will cover you for hotel bills and new tickets if your airline goes bust and leaves you stranded overseas.

Claim quickly

Your holiday travel insurance cover is put to the test when you have to claim. To ensure that any claims are handled quickly and easily, look for insurers that provide a 24-hour claims helpline. The more established insurers will have systems in place to ensure minimal disruption to your holiday.

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