Essential Travel has been providing travel insurance products since 2001. The company offers single trip insurance, annual cover, cover for children and older people, and specialist activity insurance alongside a range of additional travel services such as airport parking, car hire, airport lounge booking and hotels. The company also offers cover for specific health issues.
Since its creation the company has insured more than five million holidaymakers, and in 2014 it became part of the Holiday Extras group, which makes bookings for over seven million travellers each year. Its insurance is underwritten by White Horse Insurance Ireland Ltd.
Essential Travel won a silver award in the Best Travel Insurance Provider category in the British Travel Awards 2012.
Overview of travel insurance cover provided by Essential Travel
Essential Travel offers single and multi-trip insurance, cover for children and older people, backpackers insurance, family insurance, and specialist activity cover.
For general single and multi-trip insurance, there are four levels of benefit available: Standard, Essential, Essential Plus and Superior. Standard offers the fewest benefits, with modest cover for medical expenses, personal accident and personal liability only.
Essential-level protection covers these claims, plus cancellation or curtailment, delayed departure, travel abandonment and legal expenses. Essential Plus covers these, plus baggage, personal money, hijacking and mugging, while Superior covers all of these claims, plus failure of carrier. The amount allowable per claim increases with the each level of cover, with Superior offering the largest amounts per claim.
Backpackers insurance includes medical, cancellation and baggage cover, plus the options to add additional features to your policy, such as winter sports cover and excess waivers. A choice of three levels of protection means you only pay for the cover you need, and the policy also includes one trip home for up to 14 days.
Essential Travel also insures unaccompanied children and teenagers, plus older people over the age of 74 via partner company Travel Insurance Vital Health. Travelling together is also made easier as the company offers family travel insurance, which includes more than 100 sports at no extra cost.
All policies can be personalised to include cover for cruises, skiing, golf and adrenaline sports, for a premium cost.
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What about insurance for pre-existing medical conditions?
In partnership with Latitude Insurance, Essential Travel is able to cover pre-existing medical conditions following an online health screening. Additionally, policies can be tailored to cover specific conditions such as pregnancy, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions and cancer.
How much does travel insurance cost with Essential Travel?
The cost of travel insurance with Essential Travel will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of cover you require, the duration of your trip, any pre-existing medical conditions, and so on.
To give you an idea of costs, we’ve obtained the following example quotes:
Single, one-week trip to Europe:
Essential Plus: £18.62
European annual policy:
Essential Plus: £51.54
Single, one-week trip worldwide:
Essential Plus: £24.58
Worldwide annual policy:
Essential Plus: £76.28
What do Essential Travel reviews by customers say?
According to Trust Pilot, Essential Travel scores 8.5 out of 10, based on 1552 reviews, while over on reviewcentre.com the company has a score of just 2/5, based on a small handful of reviews. Money.co.uk however, rates the company as ‘good’ based on its consumer feedback.
What do the experts say?
The company has won a number of awards, including silver in the British Travel Awards 2012, and Best Travel Insurance Website 2009 in the Travolution Awards.
According to Defaqto, the independent reviewers of financial products, the company’s Superior level of cover has earned four stars out of a possible five, making it a “product with a good level of features and benefits”. Its Essentials Plus – the company’s most popular level of cover – has two stars, “a product typically offering a below average range of features and benefits”, while its Essential and Standard levels of cover have been given just one star: “A basic product, with a low level of features and benefits.”