Travelling in Britain this Summer: Do I need travel insurance?
It might seem ridiculous to look into travel insurance if you are staying in the country for your holiday, but a ‘staycation’ presents many of the same pitfalls as a holiday abroad!
Having travel insurance will help to make sure that you are covered in case of any eventuality.
Do I need insurance for UK travel when we have the NHS?
Most people see being ill as the primary reason for travel insurance, and we agree. Going abroad without appropriate insurance can lead to hundreds of thousands of pounds in medical expenses and repatriation fees, something you don’t have to worry about while you stay within our shores.
However, while you can rely on the NHS to pick you up when you fall no matter where you are in the UK, staycation insurance covers more than just your medical needs.
Travel insurance for UK-only holidays
If you plan on using your own vehicle then you may think that insurance for your commute may not be necessary. Your trusty family car is going to be fine, right? Maybe not.
If you are already a member of one of the breakdown services like the AA or RAC then you have some level of cover that will give you assistance if you break down on UK roads, but is that cover comprehensive enough to be useful on a long distance holiday?
Most basic cover is ‘roadside only’, meaning the recovery service will come to your breakdown point at the side of the road and the mechanic will do his best to get you up and running again. If he can’t then it’s only valid for a tow to a local garage, at which point he’ll get you to sign his paperwork and wave cheerily to you as he drives way.
Perfect if the only thing wrong was a flat tyre, or if you run out of fuel, but quite the problem if it is anything more serious at 3am and 200 miles from home.
Increasing your level of breakdown cover can give you all sorts of useful extras, such as national recovery meaning you get taken to your final destination (and can sort out the car in the morning), or onward travel, which could provide you with an overnight hotel stay and courtesy car to see you to the end of your trip.
Check your breakdown insurance to see what you have and upgrade in advance – the cost of upgrading at no notice when the breakdown has already occurred can be debilitating.
For more information on breakdown insurance and the policies available, take a look at our guide to breakdown cover or our host of breakdown cover reviews.
Coach and rail ticket insurance
When buying coach or rail tickets for a holiday to an exciting British destination, you’ll be asked if you want insurance for a few extra pounds. This is always worth doing, as it means that if plans change (and they might), you are covered to the cost of your tickets and can either reschedule or get your money back.
If your transport of choice doesn’t offer such a level of insurance, then look to independent single trip insurance to get tailored travel insurance quotes. Specialised insurance for UK travel only will be relatively cheap and will cover you for more than simply a cancelled trip; giving you insurance for possessions and delays as well.
It’s rare to get a domestic flight on our small island, especially for non-business reasons – but if you are jetting away to one of the exciting capitals or popping over the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland, you should make sure that your insurance for UK travel covers you when flying.
It would be embarrassing in the very least to lose your suitcase at Stansted and arrive in Edinburgh with nothing to wear and no money to replace it!
Covering your possessions
If you are in the UK it is easy to assume that your standard home and contents insurance covers you even when you are on holiday, and to be fair, you could be right.
But you could also be wrong.
It’s a huge temptation when travelling across the UK to stuff the car full of your favourite home comforts so that, instead of being divested of good Saturday night TV while lying in your tent, you can catch up on Britain’s Got Talent, Love Island or whatever else takes your fancy still snuggled in the sleeping bag!
So, you’ve packed your laptop, your phone, an assortment of chargers and more. Suddenly the level of cover that you are provided for ‘away from home’ items as part of your home and contents insurance is blown, and that’s without considering the three expensive mountain bikes you have strapped to the back of your car!
It all adds up and there will be a limit to your home and contents insurance that you could pass. Look to get a good UK travel insurance quote to give you the cover you need for this British holiday and be safe from thieves and dropping your phone alike.
Hotels, campsites and other accommodation
Each place will have its own insurance to make sure that if you suffer a disaster while in their care, you can make a claim, so don’t worry too much if you slip down some stairs and end up in hospital! But you might want cover for any cancellations or unexpected changes to your planned stays. Travel insurance for UK residents holidaying at home will cover you for all scheduling issues.
Does existing travel insurance cover you in the UK?
You will need to check. You may have annual travel insurance bought because you went on a few trips abroad, or for work reasons and it might be that the level of cover provided for that doesn’t apply if you are going on holiday this summer to Scotland.
Check the terms and conditions and either look to extend the policy or take out a separate level of travel insurance for domestic travel.
Other pitfalls of the UK holiday
You can get insurance for your car, make sure your flights are covered and rely on the NHS to fix you after a break – you can even extend your mobile phone cover or home and contents insurance to protect that new £1000 smartphone you just bought – but can you insure yourself against the British weather?
It’s a sad fact, but no one is going to provide you with reasonable insurance to make sure your trip is going to be a good one with no rain turning a run of planned fun into days stranded in a hotel room wishing the sun would come out.
Sorry – nothing we can do about that one! Enjoy your holiday!
If you’re looking at taking a vacation within the UK this summer, we’ve come up with a whole range of ways in which you can cut the costs on your travel expenses – why not take a look?