With so much uncertainty still surrounding travelling abroad from the UK in summer 2021 and potentially beyond, it’s been a difficult time for anyone looking to plan a holiday. The government’s foreign travel advice places heavy restrictions on visiting many of the world’s countries, while the global tourism industry took a major hit in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Many have opted to forego any overseas trips for the time being, while those of a more optimistic nature have made bookings and reservations but are seeking assurances. Holiday protection insurance can provide that peace of mind that if something does go awry, you won’t be left paying for a vacation that doesn’t go ahead. But what exactly is it, and do you need it?

What is holiday protection insurance?

It’s a policy that will cover the cost of all or parts of your trip, should anything go wrong. High-profile recent examples include Thomas Cook going bust in 2019 and the huge disruption to air travel caused by the volcanic ash cloud above Iceland in 2010.

Do you need it?

It’s not always easy to predict these events and the impact they will have – the pandemic has taught us that much – so having a safety net in place can prove a prudent decision. If all or part of your holiday gets cancelled or changed, that can be disappointing enough. But if those alterations cause you to lose money as well, it only adds insult to injury. Having insurance in place can help to safeguard against that risk.

How can you protect yourself?

One easy way to look after your finances is to pay for your holiday using a credit card. For any purchases over £100, the Consumer Credit Act means your card company is as liable as your travel provider, so you will get your money back from the former even if the latter goes bust.

On top of that, any package holiday including a flight comes with ATOL protection under the Civil Aviation Authority.  This means you will be refunded for any cancellations and if your holiday provider goes under, you’ll be put on a replacement flight home at no charge.

For package holidays that don’t involve flying, most are covered by the Association of British Travel Agencies (ABTA). If you’ve booked the various parts of your trip separately, you won’t receive ATOL or ABTA protection so it’s vital to source a comprehensive travel insurance policy that will help you in the event of cancellations, delays or medical emergencies.