Do you need travel insurance?

If you fall ill or have an accident while travelling the bills can be huge, so it pays to have cover in place. Here are the basics to help you find the right travel insurance policy.

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What does travel insurance do?

It gives you financial protection in case something goes wrong while you are away.

It is essential whether you are going on holiday, a business trip or travelling for any other reason.

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"Had been looking for travel insurance for a trip and visited various sites without being able to get just what we needed. Came to this site and got insurance without fuss or bother. Have more travel plans for the future and will come back to this site for as it was simple to navigate."

What does it cover?

It can cover you if you fall seriously ill or are injured, if your holiday is cancelled or cut short, or if you are a victim of crime while you are away.

Your travel insurance policy can pay out a lump sum up to a set amount to cover costs like medical expenses, repatriation or stolen and lost items.

Medical expenses

If you fall ill or suffer an injury while on holiday your travel insurance policy can cover your medical bills.

Medical expenses cover should include:

    If you are travelling to Europe make sure you get a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) for extra cover.

    How much cover do you need? 

    You should look for at least £2 million of medical expenses cover, but many policies will offer up to £10 million.

    Cancellation or cutting your trip short

    If an emergency means you need to cancel your holiday you may be able to claim back the cost of your trip from your travel insurance policy.

    This guide explains what is covered by cancellation cover and what you need to do to make a claim.

    How much cover do you need? 

    Look for a policy that will cover the cost of your holiday. Some will offer as much £10,000.

    Personal belongings and baggage

    This covers the accidental loss, theft or damage of your personal possessions, including your baggage.

    There will be a cover limit for each single item, and a total claim limit.

      How much cover do you need? 

      Most policies will offer total cover up to £2,000 and single item cover limits are usually around £250, but you can find much higher so make sure it is enough to protect your possessions.


      Your travel insurance cover should pay out if your flights are delayed for more than 12 hours. Most policies will cover delays caused by:

        How much cover do you need? 

        This is to cover extra expenses. You can usually get £40 for the first 12 hours and then £20 for every 12 hour period thereafter, up to a limit of between £200 and £400.

        Personal injury

        If you suffer an injury abroad that leads to a permanent disability, you can claim for compensation.

        Your insurer should pay out for:

          You will usually be covered if the accident results in you becoming disabled within 12 months or two years, depending on the policy.

          How much cover do you need? 

          Most policies will offer cover between £15,000 and £25,000 for injury. The cover for death will usually be around £5,000, but can be lower if you are over 65.

          UK holidays

          You will be covered for things like cancellation and lost or stolen possessions. However, most insurers set restrictions for UK trips, such as:

            You cannot claim for medical expenses if you are eligible for free NHS healthcare.

            What else is covered?

              Here is a how you would claim for each type of cover, including any exclusions you might face.

              Comparing travel insurance deals is the simple and easy way to get the best possible cover when you go away.

              What types of travel insurance are there?

              Single trip and annual travel insurance

                Here is a more detailed look at what single trip and annual policies offer, and which is right for you.

                Should you get single trip or annual travel insurance?

                Winter and extreme sports cover

                If you are planning an action-packed holiday, make sure the activities you want to try are covered. If they are not, you might not be able to claim if you suffer an injury while taking part.

                Here is which extreme activities you need to add to your policy and how to make sure you are covered.

                Can you get travel insurance for extreme sports?

                Compare winter sports insurance

                Backpacker travel insurance

                This type of insurance is also known as:

                  This is a specialist type of travel insurance that can offer cover for trips of up to 18 months, which is much longer than single trip or annual policies.

                  You can also get cover for several countries under the same policy so you will not have to update your policy or get new cover during your trip.

                  Compare backpacker travel insurance

                  Family travel insurance

                  If you are travelling with a partner and children you could save money with a group policy.

                  Most family policies will cover two adults and up to four children, but some will cover more.

                  Family cover could give you higher levels of cover for things like cancellation and lost baggage compared to sole policies, but there could be restrictions, such as:

                    Some providers offer free cover for children, but you should still get individual quotes and compare the cost.

                    You can also save with a couple's policy if you are both over 18 years old and living at the same address.

                    Compare travel insurance here

                    What affects the price?

                    The cost of your travel insurance will be influenced by:

                      These eight ways to cut the cost of your cover can help you get the best deal

                      If you have a pre-existing condition, you can still get a quote through These conditions could include cancer, stroke, serious heart, respiratory and terminal conditions.
                      Some insurers might not cover you if you already have a serious medical condition, or if you have a number of conditions. Others might only offer insurance at a much higher price. If you're unable to find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has also set up a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.
                      You can contact the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) or you can telephone 0800 138 7777.

                      Make sure you get the best possible cover when you go away by comparing travel insurance deals. You can find the cover you need at the right price whatever your travel plans.