Travel insurance for children

When it comes to children (under 18s) and travel, it’s important to make sure the youngest members of your family have all the cover they need for a safe and comfortable trip. Let us help you find travel insurance for the children in your family.

When it comes to children (under 18s) and travel, it’s important to make sure the youngest members of your family have all the cover they need for a safe and comfortable trip. Let us help you find travel insurance for the children in your family.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
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Posted 15 JANUARY 2021

What types of travel insurance are available for children?

There are many types of travel insurance policies to consider, from family insurance packages to travel insurance for  children travelling alone. It’s important to understand the different types of insurance so that you can pick the right package for your children.

But don’t worry, we’re here to make the whole thing as easy as possible to organise.


The travel traffic light system currently states that trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant government.

Please note: from 4am on 4 October 2021, the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries.

Currently, if your destination of choice is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and ensure travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed with short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red list countries. Most insurance policies purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the FCDO has instructed citizens not to travel to won’t be valid, however, some insurance providers may offer reduced cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes. Should you have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing, to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

Why do I need children’s travel insurance?

Travel insurance for children is there to protect the under 18s against any emergency that may happen while they’re abroad. Just like adult travel insurance, policies for children give you peace of mind that you’ve got the cover you need on holiday.

Taking out travel insurance for your kids means that if anything were to happen, your travel insurance provider would take care of the bill and be on hand to give you advice and support. 

For example, if your child needed to be treated in a hospital for a stomach bug or infection, the policy could cover any follow-up treatment, plus return flights and so on. This could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds without travel insurance for your child.

Here are a few reasons why your child may need their own travel insurance:

  • if they're visiting family, friends or relatives when they are studying abroad
  • if they're going on a gap year or backpacking
  • or if they're working overseas

Under 16s who travel alone are often referred to as “unaccompanied minors”. You may find this phrase in travel insurance policies, and this may affect the terms of your insurance, so it’s important to check carefully. 
Before you take out a separate policy for your child, you may want to check any existing family travel insurance you have, as some policies can cover your child even if they’re travelling separately. 

Does my child need travel insurance when travelling with me?

Travel insurance is needed for children, regardless of whether or not they’re with their parents. If your child is travelling – especially to another country – you’ll want to make sure that if anything untoward happens, there’s insurance in place to help with any costs.

If your child is travelling with you, you can take out family holiday insurance, which could cover one or two adults plus at least one child (maximum 8). Couple and child policies are available, which cover you and a partner, plus a single child. This is often a cheaper type of family travel insurance

What does child travel insurance cover?

Your child’s travel insurance could include cover for:

  • lost luggage
  • personal accidents and repatriation
  • medical treatment
  • theft
  • loss of valuables

If they’re off on an adventure holiday with school, then it’s important to make sure they’re covered for certain activities, like extreme sports or winter sports

Is your child travelling within Europe? If so, ensure they have a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This will provide them with access to state-provided healthcare while travelling in EU countries, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

After Brexit, and the UK officially left the EU with a deal in place, things have changed. You won’t be able to apply for an EHIC anymore, but, if you have one already, issued before the end of 2020, then it’ll still be valid until the expiry date.

However, the UK government introduced the replacement Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). If you don’t have an EHIC, or once yours expires, you can apply for a GHIC here, and it should arrive within 10 days. The GHIC will offer the same cover as the EHIC did in EU countries.

Find out more about the EHIC

Do babies need travel insurance?

Travel insurance for a babies is effectively the same as children’s travel insurance. You’ll need to ensure a policy has enough cover to protect your little one(s) against the cost of illness, injury and repatriation, if needed. If you’re taking your baby on holiday, you’ll want to make sure any accessories, such as buggies or cots, are insured as well.

Some insurance providers offer free cover for children as part of a family policy. Always read the terms of your policy so you know exactly what your insurance covers.

What extra cover is available for children? 

As well as the inclusions of standard travel insurance for kids, you may want to think about extra types of cover, depending on the type of trip you’re taking: 

  • Damaged or lost luggage/baggage – while lost luggage can be included as standard, you should check it offers you the right amount of cover and take out any further insurance if you need it. We know that children can lose and break things while on holiday, so getting this type of cover can help give you peace of mind. 
  • Adventure activities and sports – you may find that a standard insurance policy won’t protect you for many ‘higher-risk’ sports and activities. If you’re planning on taking part in more adventurous sports like skiing or surfing, you should look at the relevant cover for winter sports, water sports and extreme sports
  • Flight cancellation and delays – if your child falls ill or is injured, there’s already a lot to worry about. Flight cancellation cover can help you recover the cost of your flights in these types of situations. This won’t cover you if you simply change your mind about travelling. 

How do I get children’s travel insurance?

We can take the hassle out of searching for travel insurance for children. Simply use our  comparison service, tell us what you need and we’ll compare hundreds of travel insurance providers for you, so you can find the perfect cover for your child.

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