As the future for Thomas Cook looks uncertain, money.co.uk advises customers on protecting their money
Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, comments:
Holidaymakers will again be understandably concerned about the plight and uncertain future of Thomas Cook, but it doesn't need to ruin your holiday as long as you ensure you already have the right protection in place.
Even if your airline or holiday provider is ATOL protected, we would always recommend you purchase comprehensive travel insurance at the point of booking your holiday, as you may not be covered if you take out holiday insurance later down the line.
ATOL protection will cover your flights, accommodation and car hire if they were part of a package deal, but it won't cover incidentals such as meals and taxis.
Also, if you only paid for the flight through a holiday provider like Thomas Cook and they go bust while you're away, you won't necessarily be covered for incremental or additional accommodation and car hire costs if you are stuck in a destination.
You will need to check if your service provider has ATOL protection, otherwise it will be your responsibility.
And if thousands of people are trying to get home and there aren't any available seats for several days, those costs could quickly mount up.
Comprehensive travel insurance should cover these costs, but check the small-print first because not all policies will include end-supplier failure or airline failure, which covers you in the event that a travel company stops operating.
If you paid for any of your booking by credit card, you may also be covered under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, which protects amounts between £100 and £30,000 but sadly doesn't cover debit cards, so make sure you check all your documentation to ensure you are fully protected.