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UK travel insurance
Tourist boards across the UK are running a campaign to persuade us that 'Holidays at Home are Great'.
Staycations can prove cheaper than holidays abroad, so the campaign is likely to appeal to cash-strapped consumers, especially as a range of special deals is on offer.
But a cheap holiday in the UK can turn out to be expensive, unless you pack a travel insurance policy along with your umbrella.
Why do I need travel insurance for a UK holiday?
Many people assume that travel insurance is an unnecessary expense for a holiday in the UK. In fact, less than half of travellers bother to take out insurance for a staycation.
Of course, you won't need insurance for medical treatment in the UK because you can rely on the NHS. So, if you have an accident or fall ill during your holiday, you don't need to worry about a big bill.
But travel insurance is about more than medical cover. What happens if you fall ill before the date of departure and have to cancel your holiday?
Without insurance you could lose your deposit, or even the full cost of the trip. And what if your camera is stolen or you lose your favourite necklace while you are away?
What does UK travel insurance cover?
It's important to read the details of any insurance carefully. Some UK travel policies are basic, perhaps covering only cancellation. Others might include a range of extras, such as breakdown cover, that you don't really need.
Cancellation and curtailment
Most UK travel policies include cancellation and curtailment. In other words, if you have to cancel or cut short your holiday, perhaps due to illness or bereavement, the policy should cover your expenses. And the expenses can add up. Hotels in the UK can be just as pricey as abroad. The cost of a holiday cottage can also run into hundreds of pounds, especially during peak season. Don't forget any pre-booked transport, such as train fares or even flights if you are travelling to a far flung corner of the country.
Missed or delayed departure
If you miss your flight, ferry or train due to circumstances beyond your control, you might be able to claim on your UK travel insurance. You might also be covered if your flight is delayed by more than 12 hours. But check the small print as some insurers do not cover internal flights.
Baggage and belongings
There are thieves in Great Britain just as there are thieves abroad, but a UK travel insurance policy will cover your baggage and personal possessions in case they are stolen. You should also be insured against loss or damage, although you will have to prove that you were not negligent with your belongings.
It's worth checking your home contents insurance as it might cover your personal possessions when you take them out of the home. However, some people prefer not to claim on their home insurance in order to protect their no claims discount. You might also find that the contents policy does not include all your holiday equipment, such as a tent or diving kit, and that certain limits apply.
A UK travel insurance policy does not cover medical treatment, but it may pay for a transfer to a hospital near to your home. If you fall ill on holiday and need to go into hospital, you can then be sure that you will not be stuck in a remote or inaccessible part of the country, far away from friends and relatives.
If you are planning a staycation, your policy might only cover your holiday if you are travelling a certain distance from home, usually at least 25 miles, though it can be more. The insurer might also insist on a minimum number of nights away. Also bear in mind that UK travel insurance usually only covers pre-paid accommodation and transport - and private medical treatment is not included.
How much does UK travel insurance cost?
Premiums vary according to the type of policy and level of cover. A family policy can often work out cheaper than individual cover for each family member. And if you are planning several UK holidays in a year, an annual policy could prove cost effective.
One of the best ways to cut the cost of UK travel insurance is to shop around. MoneySupermarket's free independent comparison service is a quick and easy way to compare prices and save money.
Click on the link below to start comparing travel insurance for UK trips.
Compare UK travel insurance