UK Travel Insurance

With COVID-19 creating issues for international travellers, Brits have been turning to holiday spots closer to home. However, government guidelines are changing regularly in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so it can be hard to keep track of what you can and can’t do. To help you get your staycation off the ground, we have the information you need to book your UK getaway safely. 

With COVID-19 creating issues for international travellers, Brits have been turning to holiday spots closer to home. However, government guidelines are changing regularly in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so it can be hard to keep track of what you can and can’t do. To help you get your staycation off the ground, we have the information you need to book your UK getaway safely. 

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
4
minute read
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Posted 2 SEPTEMBER 2021

Do I need travel insurance for the UK? 

If you’re thinking about a ‘staycation’, you should still consider taking out UK holiday insurance, just as you would consider travel insurance for a holiday abroad. Although you may not need to worry about medical cover, as you’ll be able to receive NHS care and treatment; you might still want to be covered for cancellation, and baggage loss or damage. 
 
Please note: while government restrictions in the UK have now eased, hotels have been able to re-open. However, guidance and restrictions are subject to change, which may impact your travel plans. Some insurance policies offer enhanced cover for COVID-19, which might cover you if you have to cancel because you or someone else covered by the policy gets coronavirus. Check the policy details to make sure you understand exactly what you’re covered for. 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 

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.

What does travel insurance for the UK cover? 

While you won’t need to be as concerned about cover for medical expenses with a UK travel insurance policy, there are many other benefits of getting cover for your staycation:

  • Transport/flight cancellations and delays You may need to take a domestic flight, train journey, ferry crossing or coach to your holiday destination. Travel insurance could cover the costs of any cancellations or delays during your trip. 
  • Holiday cancellation If you have to cancel your UK booking for reasons beyond your control, holiday cancellation cover could help you get your money back. Check the policy T&Cs carefully as cancellation cover varies among insurance providers.  
  • Holiday curtailment If you have to cut your staycation short, due to illness, injury or another specified reason, you could recover costs for the holiday you missed out on. 
  • Baggage insurance If you lose your baggage, or it’s stolen or damaged, you can claim for your personal belongings, to cover the cost of replacing them.  
  • Personal liability If you’re held responsible for causing damage or injury to another person while on holiday, this could cover any legal expenses. 

Are you already covered? 

Before buying UK travel insurance, check whether you have appropriate cover already in place: 

  • Your contents insurance policy may include ‘away from home’ cover for personal possessions that are lost or stolen outside the home. If your policy doesn’t include it, you might be able to add it to your home insurance for an extra cost. 
  • If you already have an annual travel insurance policy check it covers loss of personal possessions and cancellation costs for a UK holiday. If it offers the cover you want, you might not need to take out a separate policy. 
  • Some bank accounts offer annual travel insurance policies, so it’s worth checking before taking out a new travel policy. 

Does global travel insurance cover staycations? 

Yes, most global policies should cover you when you’re on holiday in the UK. But it’s always worth checking the small print.  
 
A global or worldwide travel policy is best if at least one of your holidays is to the USA, Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean, as these types of policy take into account the higher cost of medical treatment outside Europe.  
 
If you’re planning on travelling in the UK and Europe, you may not need a global policy.  
 
Always make sure your destinations are included in your policy, as definitions of worldwide cover and European cover can vary among providers. 

Single trip and multi trip UK holiday insurance policies 

Whether you need a single trip or multi trip policy will depend on how often you take a staycation. If you’re regularly going on weekend breaks as well as longer holidays in the summer, you might find it’s worth taking out an annual UK travel insurance policy. But if you’re only staycationing while the coronavirus pandemic is putting you off international travel, or you don’t staycation very often, then single trip policies could be a better option for you. 
 
It’s worth comparing travel insurance quotes to find which offers you a better deal overall. 

Annual staycation insurance policies 

With an annual policy, also known as annual multi-trip cover, you’ll have travel insurance in place all year round. So if you’re the kind of person who enjoys frequent breaks in the UK, an annual staycation policy offering 12 months of cover for an unlimited number of holidays could be right for you. But if you’re planning any long trips around the UK, check the policy details to see the maximum length any one trip will be covered for. 

How to reduce the cost of your staycation travel insurance 

To cut the cost of your staycation insurance, it can help to:

  • Know in advance how many trips you’re likely to take in a year, so you can check whether an annual or single-trip policy will be better value. 
  • Consider a higher voluntary excess – the amount you agree to pay towards a claim. Just be sure you can afford it if you need to make a claim 
  • Choose the level of cover you want carefully. Consider, for example, how much you spend on your holiday and get the right amount of cancellation cover. There’s no point in paying for cover you don’t need. 
  • Check your policy to see if it already covers the sports and activities you’ll be enjoying before you opt for an add-on like adventure sports cover.

Travel insurance for a caravan holiday 

Whether you enjoy the freedom of touring or you prefer a caravan site with amenities like shops and cafés, you’ll still want cover in case something goes wrong. 
 
Just like staying in a hotel or holiday cottage, having caravan travel insurance offers cover if your holiday has to be cut short or your personal possessions get lost, stolen or damaged. If you can’t get enough of the caravanning lifestyle, you might want to opt for a multi-trip policy. 
 
If you own your own van, you’ll doubtless want caravan insurance for your home away from home too.

We can also help if you need to insure your motorhome or campervan, whether it’s a luxury RV or a cute Dormobile.  

Money-saving tips for travelling in the UK 

  • Book late – if you can be flexible about where you go, quite often the best deals can be found with a last-minute booking.  
  • Book early – booking early can save you money too, as you can sometimes find special deals at the beginning of the year.  
  • Avoid peak periods if you can – bank holidays and school summer holidays are typically more expensive because of greater demand.  
  • Use a Railcard if you’re travelling by train – as well as avoiding being stuck in a traffic jam, you can save up to a third off selected train fares. Whether you’re two friends travelling together or a family with kids, under 30 or over 60, there’s a Railcard that can help save you money on your trip. Your Railcard will also give you access to a variety of days out. Find a Railcard with Trainline
  • Find local free attractions – wherever you go in the UK, there are enjoyable things to do for free. From outdoor experiences, like beaches and national parks, to cultural attractions like museums, sculpture trails and more. 
  • Dine out with Meerkat Meals* you can get 2 for 1 on selected food, Sunday to Thursday, as well as 25% off your whole bill at various restaurants. Use the Meerkat app and call to book ahead.​ Terms and conditions apply. 

Compare insurance for your UK staycation

Start a quote today. We’ll help you compare travel insurance providers and find the most competitive quotes to suit your UK holiday. 

Compare travel insurance and find out how much you could save.

UK travel insurance for frequent business travel 

If you’re self-employed or run your own company, it’s worth taking a look at business travel insurance. It could cover you if your travel plans suffer because of missed flights or ferries, and could offer financial protection if expensive equipment - like laptops and smartphones - is lost, stolen or damaged while you’re away on business. 
 
Your employer should take care of your business travel insurance if you’re an employee, but you’ll need your own travel insurance if you’re tagging a holiday onto the end of your trip.  

Frequently asked questions

What other types of travel insurance should I consider for a staycation?

Whether you’re planning a white-water rafting trip to Wales or you’re travelling around the UK for business, you may want to consider specific cover to suit your needs: 

Will staycation insurance cover cancellations due to COVID-19?

It depends on your policy wording, but many travel insurance providers are now offering some form of enhanced COVID-19 cover. This usually includes protection against cancellation, if you or someone else on the policy tests positive for coronavirus within two weeks of your travel date, forcing you to cancel. Alternatively, you could have to cancel your holiday because your accommodation has been required to close. If this happens, you should be entitled to a refund or compensation. 

Will travel insurance cover me if I’m ‘pinged’ and have to self-isolate?

Although some insurance policies will cover you if you have to cancel your holiday because you’ve tested positive for coronavirus, fewer policies offer cover for self-isolation. So if you receive an app alert or phone notification from NHS Test and Trace and have to cancel your trip (double vaccinated people pinged by the app are no longer required to self-isolate), you may not be covered. It’s very important to check any policy before you buy so you know exactly what you’re covered for.  

Should I get travel insurance for domestic flights?

If you’re unable to make your domestic flight for a reason specified on your policy, then you’ll be able to claim compensation for the cost of your flight. Reasons usually covered are injury and illness, and bereavement. 
 
If your flight is cancelled by the airline, then you’re entitled to a full refund, which means you won’t need to claim on your travel insurance. 

What isn’t covered by staycation travel insurance?

Travel insurance typically won’t include cover for: 

  • Travel to destinations against government advice.  
  • Medical care and treatment for pre-existing medical conditions that haven’t been declared when getting your policy. 
  • High-risk activities and sports, unless you have specific cover.  
  • Reckless behaviour, drunkenness or drug use – you won’t be able to claim for events that were illegal, or involved drug or excessive alcohol use.  

Can I get UK trip insurance with a pre-existing medical condition?

Yes, as long as you declare your condition during your application, you can still get travel insurance. However, because you’re travelling within the UK, medical insurance probably won’t be a priority as you’ll be able to receive treatment and care from the NHS. 

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