Travel insurance

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Why take out travel insurance?

Accidents happen, no matter where you are in the world. Travel insurance can cover medical treatment or emergencies, as well as loss of possessions.

Getting ill or injured abroad can be more complicated and expensive than when you’re on home ground. Taking out travel insurance can give you peace of mind should the unexpected happen.

The main benefit is emergency medical cover, which can be very expensive.

What does travel insurance cover?

You’ll typically be covered for:

  • Medical expenses - for visits to the doctor or hospital when you’re abroad
  • Repatriation - if you need to be brought back to the UK because of injury or for further treatment
  • Cancellation or curtailment - if your holiday is cancelled, cut short or delayed you could reclaim any costs
  • Lost, stolen or damaged possessions – cover for your luggage
  • Personal liability - in case you accidentally injure someone or damage their property

And what might not be covered?

  • Pre-existing medical conditions - you might need specialist insurance and should check with your insurer first
  • Dangerous activities - like adventure sports, climbing Kilimanjaro or winter sports
  • Certain destinations - if you travel to a country that the government suggests you avoid

Make sure you understand what you’re covered for, as different policies will cover different things. You can do this by checking the T&Cs before you choose a policy.

Policy types to suit your travels

Where you go, and what you get up to on your trip will make a difference to the cover you need.

Policies vary a lot and without the right insurance, you could find yourself out of pocket.

Single trip

Will cover you for one destination for a certain amount of time.

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Annual multi-trip

Will insure you for multiple trips in one year - this may work out cheaper if you're a regular traveller.

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Worldwide

Does what it says on the tin - covers you for worldwide destinations.

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Winter sports

A good idea if you're going on a skiing trip or taking part in any other winter sports.

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Family

Will cover the whole family under one policy and could help you save on your insurance.

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Cruise

Insurance specifically for cruise holidays that'll cover issues like cabin confinement.

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Over 65s travel insurance

Tailored travel insurance for those over the age of 65.

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Pre-existing medical conditions

May be needed if standard travel insurance won't cover your condition.

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In 2017, travel insurers paid out £385 million to UK globetrotters
According to the ABI in July 2018[†]

How to get travel insurance

We don't need much to get you on your way, we just need to know...

  1. Type of cover

    Whether it's single trip, annual multi-trip or backpacker cover

  2. Who you want to insure

    Are you travelling alone or with others?

  3. Your cover options

    If you need extra cover for winter sports or a cruise, for instance

  4. Your details

    The usual things - your name and email address

  5. Your medical history

    Whether you have any pre-existing medical conditions

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Do I need travel insurance if I have an EHIC?

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) currently allows you to receive state healthcare within the European Economic Area (EEA) for free or at a reduced rate.

It's not a like-for-like substitute for travel insurance though. The EHIC won't cover things like medical repatriation, non-urgent treatment, or any non-medical features like lost/stolen property. You also can't use it on cruises.

Do I need travel insurance for holidays in the UK?

It's a good idea to have some sort of cover if you're having a staycation.

Missed transport and cancellation cover can come in handy if you're taking an internal flight. Gadget cover can be a real lifesaver too, if you're travelling with expensive smart devices.

Tips to make your travel insurance cheaper

Even if it’s a price you’re willing to pay, there are always little ways to keep your premiums down:

  1. One annual payment

    An annual multi-trip policy could work out cheaper if you're a regular traveller

  2. See if you're already covered

    You may already have insurance with your bank or credit card

  3. Combined cover

    Put the whole family on one policy to get a cheaper rate

  4. Increase voluntary excess

    ... but make sure you have enough money to pay up, if you need to

  5. Choose the right destination

    Don't choose an annual worldwide option if you think you'll only travel in Europe

  6. Your personal belongings

    Check if these are already covered by your home or gadget insurance

  7. A package holiday

    Make sure you're not already paying for travel insurance extras as part of your package

  8. Take your EHIC

    It can give you access to free or reduced cost medical treatment in selected countries

  9. Shop around

    It's always worth getting a few different quotes to get a great price

Frequently asked questions

  • Will a policy cover the loss of a passport or other documents?

    Many policies cover some of the costs associated with obtaining emergency travel documents when abroad, but you're unlikely to have the cost of replacing your passport when you get back to the UK covered.

  • What's 'doubling up' on travel insurance?

    You might already have travel insurance through another financial product such as a packaged bank account or premium credit card, but you should remember that such policies may not have cover suited to your circumstances. It's always best to check the terms and conditions and any exclusions to see what is covered.

    If you have existing cover, taking out a stand-alone policy could lead to you paying twice for the same thing, which can cause additional problems.

  • Any other questions?

    Find the answers in our travel insurance guides.

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