Simon Calder's Helpdesk: Is it worth paying extra for insurance that includes supplier insolvency cover?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Monday 03 June 2013
Q. For a week's package holiday with my daughter in Menorca, is it worth paying extra for insurance that includes supplier insolvency cover?
Susan Priest, Hertfordshire
A. No. If you are on a proper package holiday, ie with flights and accommodation combined as a single product, then you already effectively have supplier insolvency cover to protect you if the airline or hotel goes bust. In the unlikely event that the tour operator folds between now and your trip, then the Civil Aviation Authority will organise a full refund. If anything goes awry while you are away, the CAA will settle your hotel bill and arrange a replacement flight home. That is the gold-plated financial protection you get when you book a genuine package. In addition, you benefit from cover under the Package Travel Regulations - broadly, if there's something wrong with the holiday, from delayed flights to sub-standard accommodation, the tour operator has to fix it.
One grade down is a "dynamic package," of the sort organised by online travel agencies who source flights and accommodation from third parties. A £2.50 per-person fee for "Flight-Plus" cover will be added to the bill. If a supplier fails, the CAA says: "The Flight-Plus arranger will be required to replace that part of the holiday or provide a refund for the whole arrangement to the customer".
If, like millions of holidaymakers, you prefer to arrange flights and accommodation separately, then supplier failure cover might be worth considering. Personally, I wouldn't bother, because the scheduled airlines that serve Menorca - BA, easyJet, Jet2 and Monarch - are all rock-solid financially. And were the hotel to close its doors, then there are plenty of others available.
Finally, Menorca is an ideal summer destination. You might want to watch my Top 10: bit.ly/Men10.
Click HERE to email Simon.
You can also tweet him your questions @SimonCalder
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
- 2 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 3 People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke, research shows
- 5 New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...
£18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...
£15000 - £19200 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Processing Partner is require...
£34000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist travel agent ba...