With the uncertainty of the past 18 months, a lot of Brits have opted for a staycation this summer. You wouldn't think twice about having travel insurance when going abroad, but do you need the same level of protection if you opt to stay in the UK?
There's a lot of misconceptions when taking a staycation but this could mean you could lose thousands of pounds if you don't ensure you are covered. We take a look at why you could still need travel insurance even when taking a staycation.
Do I need travel insurance if I'm not going abroad?
We are lucky enough to have the NHS in the UK so your access to free medical care means you may not need medical cover for a staycation. However, travel insurance offers extra protection in the event of:
- An illness or injury that leads to your holiday being cancelled or postponed
- Your bus, train or domestic flight being cancelled or delayed
- The holiday home or hotel company going bust
- Your property being broken into and your belongings stolen
- Early departure from your holiday due to an emergency
Having travel insurance means that you can claim back for these eventualities and ensure you're not left out of pocket. Don't forget you and your possessions are at risk every time you leave home be it a weekend away or an overnight stay with friends.
Will home or contents insurance cover my valuables on a staycation?
Most home or contents insurance policies ensure that your valuables are covered when outside of your home address. But not all policies offer this extra protection so it is worth checking the levels of cover with the insurance provider.
When you take out travel insurance it normally states an amount that it will pay out for personal possessions if they are lost or stolen. The same applies to home and contents insurance but this amount will need to be checked if you are going to ensure all belongings are protected.
How to get the best deal on travel insurance for a staycation
Even though you are only holidaying in the UK it is best to ensure you are covered in case your plans have to unexpectedly change. Here are some top tips on how to save money on expensive travel insurance policies and things to consider before you take out a policy:
1. Shop around
Take a look at comparison websites such as MoneySuperMarket* to compare deals across a range of insurers. Make sure you look at the deal carefully though as the cheapest may not be the best in terms of cover.
2. Consider getting an annual policy
An annual policy can be cheaper if you are going on more than one trip in a year. An annual policy is also especially helpful if you are likely to forget to insure each time you go travelling. Your annual policy will cover any trips in the UK as well as those abroad.
3. Family cover
If you're buying an annual policy it might also be worth getting a family policy. Insuring your family under one policy means you may all be protected at a cheaper cost. Be sure to check in any T&C's that you are all covered if you travel separately, such as children on a school trip.
4. Buy comprehensive cover
Make sure you are covered for every eventuality:
- Delays and cancellations
- Baggage and possessions being lost or stolen
- Personal liability
- Medical cover
- Emergency assistance
5. Get covered as soon as you book your trip
As soon as you have booked your holiday get covered right away. This then means you are able to claim if something goes wrong months before you are due to travel as with most policies you are covered from the moment you take out the policy.
6. Ensure you declare all pre-existing medical conditions
As you add pre-existing medical conditions to an insurance policy the premium does seem to increase rapidly, however, do not be tempted to hide any conditions you have. This includes declaring any new medical conditions that arise before the date of travel.
If you have a more serious pre-existing condition, this can affect your ability to be insured. Some insurers exclude cover for certain conditions or refuse to cover you at all. If you do manage to get insurance this may be at an enhanced cost with an increased premium or high compulsory excess.
However, there are multiple insurance companies that specialise in travel insurance for those who have an existing medical condition. More information on those companies can be found on the Money Advice Service's website.
7. Check the cover carefully
Read all of the T&C's in the cover as not all insurance policies offer the same level of protection. Before you travel make sure you understand the claims process and keep the travel documents with you at all times.
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