Yes, although exactly what's covered varies between insurers.
Travel insurance is there to help cover unexpected costs that would otherwise put you out of pocket.
It’ll usually include cover for things like:
And there are two main types of policy you can get:
Some countries might require you to have travel insurance in place before you visit.
What’s included varies by provider so check your policy to be sure. A few things most policies will cover are listed below:
Covers the cost of emergency visits to the doctor or hospital for medical treatment while abroad. You’ll need to declare any pre-existing medical conditions when you buy travel insurance, or you might not be covered.
Repatriation covers the cost of getting you home to the UK for further medical treatment if you're seriously ill or injured abroad.
Cancellation or curtailment
If you need to cancel, cut short or delay your holiday for certain reasons outside your control, you could reclaim the cost. You won't be covered if you knew that you might need to cancel or cut short your trip, for example because you were already unwell.
Lost, stolen or damaged possessions
Cover for your luggage and belongings. This sometimes also includes cover for passports or cash. Your home contents policy or gadget insurance might offer some cover for your possessions while abroad as well.
Personal liability and legal expenses
Covers the costs of legal fees, in case you accidentally injure someone or damage their property and they sue you. It can also help you pursue compensation if you’re injured during your trip where someone else was to blame.
Pre-existing medical conditions
You won’t be covered for medical conditions that you haven’t declared to your insurer. You might need specialist insurance for some conditions so check with your provider.
Some activities like extreme sports, mountain climbing or winter sports might not be covered on a standard travel policy due to the higher risk of injury.
If you travel to a country that the government suggests you avoid.
Claims due to excessive alcohol
Your claim might be rejected if it's proved to be caused by you consuming alcohol or drugs.
Claims arising from acts of terrorism aren't covered by most policies although some will cover medical treatment.
Our panel includes travel insurance providers that can give you a quote for policies with cover for many declared serious medical conditions.
If you have more extreme and serious medical conditions, Money and Pension Service (MaPs) has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to give you a quote over the phone.
You can find the directory at the Money Advice Service or call the British Insurance Brokers Association on 0370 950 1790.
If you're fully vaccinated or aged 17 and under, you only need to take an antigen (rapid flow) or PCR test within two days of arrival in the UK. You'll need to book this with a private supplier (not the NHS) before you travel home.
If you're unvaccinated and aged over 17, you'll need to take an antigen (rapid flow) or PCR test within the two days before your flight home departs.
When you return home, unvaccinated travellers will also need take PCR tests on or before day two and day eight of your arrival back in the UK.
You can find out more in the government's guide to travelling during Covid.
Travel insurance is a policy that details how your insurer can help cover certain costs should something unexpected happen to you or your belongings while you're on holiday, or if your trip needs to be cancelled or cut short.
The average cost of single-trip travel insurance policies was £21.30 for those without medical conditions in 2020. For those with medical conditions, the average cost was higher, at £56.05.
For annual multi-trip cover, the average cost for travellers without medical conditions was £45.95 and £104.46 for people with medical conditions
With travel insurance you’ll also be covered for repatriation, non-emergency treatment and non-medical cover like lost luggage or cancellation – so it’s worth having.
You won't need the medical aspect, because we've got the NHS. But, it’s a good idea to have some cover if you’re having a staycation.
Missed transport and cancellation cover is useful if you’re taking an internal flight. Gadget cover can be worthwhile too, if you’re travelling in the UK with expensive smart devices.
You can get travel insurance if you’re pregnant. Insurers don’t class pregnancy as a medical condition so you likely won’t have to mention it when you take out cover and it won’t affect the cost of your policy. Bout you might only be covered for pregnancy related conditions up to a certain stage, typically 26 weeks.
Travel insurance is available for under 18s, whether they’re travelling on their own or with friends or family.
Many insurers won’t cover natural disasters that are classed as a 'known event' - so something that was predicted, like a hurricane that was forecast the week before you left but you travelled anyway. You might be covered for cancellation but it varies between policies so it’s important to read the wording carefully or get in touch with your insurer if you aren’t sure.
Most policies will cover some of the costs of getting emergency travel documents. But, the cost of replacing your passport when you get back to the UK usually won’t be covered.
It's where you've got two insurance policies that cross over</a>. For example, you could already have travel insurance through your bank account or credit card. Check the terms and conditions to see exactly what’s covered.
If you have existing cover, taking out a stand-alone policy on top can make claims processes complicated. The two insurance providers will have to decide between themselves whether to split the excess and claim amount, or if they expect the other to cover it.
The excess is what you have to pay towards each claim you make.
For example, if you make a claim for £1,000 and your excess is £75, the excess amount is deducted from your claim, so your insurer would only pay out £925.
As soon as you book your trip, so you can benefit from its cancellation cover straight away.
Yes, you can get last-minute travel insurance. But it won’t include cancellation cover and you'll need to find a specialist insurer covering post-departure insurance.
Page last reviewed: 17 December 2021
Next review due: 17 March 2022