M&S Travel Insurance has been enhanced to ensure that travellers who book their holidays independently of a tour operator are covered if their flights are cancelled and if other parts of their holidays are affected.
Independent traveller cover is now included as standard in M&S annual multi-trip insurance, and is available as an optional extra with single trip travel insurance.
With the rise of low budget airlines and fast broadband internet connections, experts predict that independent travel will take over from the traditional package holiday over the next five years, seeing a growth in the DIY travel market of approx 45%.
Over 70 million trips abroad were taken by Britons in 2007 and today only half of all holidays are booked as a complete package from a travel agent. 49% of consumers never truly know what their travel insurance covers them for.
With the rise in popularity of independent travel, insurers have begun to identify areas where travel cover could be improved. For example, an independent holidaymaker whose flight is cancelled could find they are unable to claim for subsequent connections, facing the cost of new flights or accommodation.
Brendan Cook, M&S Money chief executive, commented; "We work hard to cater for the changing needs of our customers and it has become increasingly clear that traditional insurance policies, developed with the package holiday in mind, need to move with the times and cover the increasing variety of eventualities faced by the modern traveller."
Travel insurance: News update: April 2008