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.
Essential Travel has insured more than five million holidaymakers, and in 2014 it became part of the Holiday Extras group. Its insurance is underwritten by White Horse Insurance Ireland.
Essential Travel won the best insurer award at the Globe Travel Awards 2017.
Or check out our guide to the best travel insurance policies.
Overview of travel insurance cover provided by Essential Travel
Essential Travel offers single, multi-trip and backpacker insurance; cover for children and older people; 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: £2.5m for medical emergencies, up to £7,000 for personal accident and up to £500,000 for personal liability. This is a very basic policy and many other companies will offer higher levels of cover and cover for cancellation and luggage as standard.
Essential includes £5m for medical emergencies, £2,000 for cancellation, £15,000 for personal accident cover and £1m for public liability. It also features cover for missed departure and legal expenses but it does not include baggage cover as standard.
Essential Plus has the same cover levels as Essential along with up to £1,500 for baggage. There is a single item limit of £250.
Superior cover includes £10m for medical emergencies, £5,000 for cancellation, £2,000 for baggage (£300 single item limit), £30,000 for personal accident cover and £2m for public liability.
Its single and multi-trip policies will not insure anyone aged 75 or older.
Essential offers a range of optional extras: winter sports, wedding cover, independent traveller, business cover, golf cover and cruise cover.
Backpackers insurance includes medical, cancellation and baggage cover, plus the option 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.
Right for you? Get a quote online.
What about insurance for pre-existing medical conditions?
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.
The screening is relatively standard and you will have to answer a few questions. When we went through the process we found Essential could not quote for all conditions online and we were told to call its customer services team.
Find out more about our group for travel insurance for cancer patients.
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.
On its website it says single trip cover starts from £7.29 a week, multi-trip starts from £29.67 a year and pre-existing medical condition cover starts from £12.06 a week.
What do Essential Travel reviews by customers say?
According to Trust Pilot, Essential Travel scores 4 out of 5, based on over 1,600 reviews.
On its website, it says it has a rating of 88% from over 1,300 customers. But it's not clear what that refers to.
What do the experts say?
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 policy has three stars, Essential has two and Standard has one.