Child on beach

Do I need travel insurance for
UK holidays?

Holidaying in the UK doesn't mean that things can't or won't go wrong. So, as with any holiday, protecting yourself against unexpected pitfalls is the sensible thing to do.

The UK has become something of a 'staycation nation' in recent years, with an increasing number of Brits exploring all that's great about Great Britain.

But should we be taking out travel insurance for our UK holidays?

Although you're staying in the same country, holidaying in the UK doesn't come without its mishaps. OK, we're not known for our savage tornados or vicious wildlife, but accommodation and transport can be cancelled, money can go missing and accidents can happen.

So, whether you're fishing in Falmouth or glamping in Gloucestershire, it's still worth packing your travel insurance.

What is domestic travel insurance?

You take out travel insurance for the UK (including the Channel Islands) in the same way you would if you were going abroad.

But here's the good news: you should expect your insurance premium to be considerably lower than if you were travelling abroad.

In most cases you will need to have a minimum of two consecutive nights' stay in accommodation booked before you travel (but this doesn't have to be a hotel; it could be a tent or caravan pitch!) So a flying visit to friends in the Cotswolds wouldn't be included!

As a British citizen travelling in the UK, your rights to NHS care won't change. But it is worth noting that travel insurance only covers you for unexpected medical bills if you are outside your 'home area'. For example, if you live in Scotland and travel to Guernsey, you will be outside your 'home area', but if you travel to Wales from your home in Scotland, you won't be. Check your terms and conditions if you would like to know more.

Taking out travel insurance isn’t just for covering unexpected medical bills though.

With domestic travel insurance, you'd be able to claim back money if you needed to cancel or cut a holiday short due to illness or injury.

The same goes for any costs incurred if you needed to be transferred to a hospital closer to home (if you were outside your 'home area').

Travel delay and cancellation compensation

It is worth totting up how much money you'd lose if any part of your holiday was cancelled, as protecting against cancellations is probably the main reason to get yourself covered.

Even within the UK, hotels (and flight tickets if you're flying across the country) can be expensive. And we all know how reliable our great British railway system can be!

So, should you find yourself on the receiving end of a severely disrupted or cancelled train, for example, you may be able to claim for extra expenses you incur if you miss a connection. The same goes for pre-paid admission costs for attractions like museums or concerts, if you have to cancel your trip entirely, or cut it short.

You may be wondering if it's best to simply take out cancellation cover, and in some cases it's likely to be the most suitable cover available. It should be noted though that travel insurance can be cheaper, more comprehensive, and insures against cancellation anyway.

Cover for lost baggage or stolen items

Protecting your personal items is essential wherever you are in the world, so it's a good idea to get travel insurance that covers damage, theft and loss of baggage.

It's still possible for airlines to lose luggage and belongings on domestic flights. You can speak to the airline directly about lost or delayed luggage when seeking compensation, although travel insurance can provide protection depending on your policy.

When it comes to stolen luggage, there's a maximum value of payout, so it's important to consider how much travel insurance cover you'll need.

What do you plan on bringing with you on holiday? If you're taking expensive items like bikes, surfboards and golf clubs, these may be covered by your home and contents insurance, or an insurance policy you have specifically taken out.

Travel insurance is not typically designed to cover high cost or specialist equipment, though some policies include optional add-ons, such as for golf equipment. It's a good idea to check the terms and conditions before purchasing to make sure the cover meets your needs.

Does travel insurance cover cycling, caravan and camping holidays?

Travel in the UK opens up a host of opportunities for activities for all the family.

Among the most popular are caravan and camping holidays, with cycling and other activities making up a big part of travel in the UK.

When getting travel insurance for specific types of holidays, check your policy and what it covers. As an example, travel insurance for a cycling holiday would insist you wear a helmet at all times, and that riding is only casual or off-road, but not endurance. So any free-riding, four-cross or dirt jumping would not be covered.

If you're planning a caravanning holiday, and you're worried about breakdown for example, you would need a separate motor policy covering breakdown.

I'm staying with friends, are you sure it's worth it?

There may be examples where accommodation and travel costs don't exceed the amount of money spent on a policy. You might be staying with friends or family, or maybe you're avoiding transport entirely. In this case, a policy might not be necessary.

Remember, cover is only typically in place where there is at least two consecutive nights' stay in pre-booked paid accommodation.

Buying travel insurance for a UK holiday

Ideally, you'd buy when you book when it comes to travel insurance. This will mean you're not rushing to find the best cover to suit your needs and have a policy in place early on.

And you could always consider an annual travel insurance policy, which means whether you're off on a last minute city break or a pre-booked summer holiday, you won't have to worry about sorting out cover.

Finally, avoid simply opting for the cheapest deal, as it might not offer enough protection should problems arise.

What now?

Find out more about Zurich travel insurance.

Back to Magazine Back to Top