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Do you need travel insurance for a UK holiday?

Find out how to protect the cost of your trip

More and more Brits are choosing to holiday in the UK – but should you be taking out travel insurance if you’re not going abroad?

Three quarters (75%) of UK adults have been on or were planning a UK-based holiday last year – up 70% in 2016, according to research by Barclays.

But while more people are opting for a staycation instead of jetting off abroad, most are unaware that they may need to travel insurance.

This means that as the late May Bank Holiday approaches and summer holiday season gets underway, lots of people could find themselves losing out.

Whether you’re planning on trekking through the Scottish Highlands or heading to the Cornish coast, we take a look at whether or not you need travel insurance for a UK holiday.


Top UK Holiday destinations

UK-based holiday makers are flocking to locations all over the nation.

New research, from Travelodge, has revealed the top 10 most popular holiday destinations in the UK last year.

Cornwall took top spot while Devon and The Lake District came in second and third place.

Do you need insurance for UK holidays?

Lots of UK-based holidaymakers assume that you don’t need travel insurance since you’re essentially staying in the same country.

But unexpected and costly problems are could arise on a staycation just as they could on a trip abroad.

While access to the NHS can make insurance unnecessary for unexpected illness or injury, additional protection may be needed for other aspects of your holiday and anyone else travelling with you – including cover for lost or stolen luggage, travel delays or cancellations.

Whether you need travel insurance will depend on how much you’re planning to spend and the risk of something going wrong.

It’s worth thinking about how much money you’re likely to lose if the trip – or any portion of it – is cancelled, what valuables you’ll have with you, and the likelihood of issues arising.

Not all trips will need cover – a weekend away at the seaside may not require insurance cover, while a week-long bicycle adventure in the remote countryside may make it worthwhile.

What does UK travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance for UK holidays covers the same breadth of scenarios as when you’d get when travelling abroad. Most policies will include the following:-

Cancellation cover

Cancelling your holiday can be extremely costly and could cause you to lose the entire cost of your trip, including accommodation and transport.

But if you had no choice – for example, if you or a family member becomes ill or injured – cancellation cover can help you claim back any money you might lose.

Be sure to check your policy wording though, as some insurers will only protect you from the start date of your trip.

This means you won’t be covered for cancellations due to problems you had before your cover was due to start.

Travel delays and cancellations

If you’ve had to book transport in advance – including ferries, coaches, trains and planes – a travel insurance policy will cover you if you run into unexpected delays or cancellations.

Keep in mind that transport providers may not need to refund you if a trip is cancelled due to factors beyond their control – including some weather events – so insurance cover can provide peace of mind.

Some travel insurance providers exclude cover for internal flights so make sure you check with your insurer first.

Possessions cover

Some holidaymakers assume that their home contents insurance policy will cover their belongings when they’re away – but this isn’t always the case.

While personal possessions cover is designed to protect portable belongings, expensive items like a bike, mobile phone, tablet or even jewellery might fall outside of the limits of your policy.

Things like your passport are unlikely to be covered by your contents insurance if it’s lost or stolen while you’re away either.

But another point to consider is that you could lose your no claims bonus on your contents insurance if you have to make a claim – so make sure the value of the item is worth the increased cost of your cover in future.

Hospital transfers

Thanks to the NHS, the cost of treating unexpected illnesses or injury during your UK stay isn’t so much of a worry.

Issues may arise, however, when it comes to the location of your treatment.

Should you need to go to hospital, you will be taken to one closest to your holiday location rather than where you live for treatment.

Some travel insurance policies will cover the cost of having you transferred to a hospital closer to your home, as well as covering the cost of travel for your friends or family to accompany you there too.

What doesn’t UK travel insurance cover?

Certain UK holidays won’t be covered by travel insurance. These include:

Short breaks

Most travel insurance policies will only cover a UK holiday if the accommodation is pre-booked and your stay is for more than two or three consecutive nights.

Staying close to home

The majority of insurers require you to travel at least 50 miles away from your home for a policy to be valid. So make sure you double check that your holiday destination is far enough away from your home before taking out a policy.

Staying with family

Most travel insurance policies will only cover stays at commercial establishments like a hotel or B&B.

Getting the right level of cover

When it comes to travel insurance, getting the right level of cover is key.

It’s important to start looking early on – ideally around the time that you’re finalising the details of your trip.

This will give you enough time to shop around, clarify what the insurer will and won’t cover, and ultimately find the best policy to suit your needs.

Avoid just going for the cheapest deal, as it may not suitable for your holiday and fail to protect you should things go wrong.

Check out our guide on how to find cheap travel insurance and watch the short video below for more help and tips.

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