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Do I need travel insurance?

You’ve booked your flights, dug out your passport, and now you’re looking forward to your upcoming trip.

While you might not want to think about the possibility of anything going wrong, there’s always a risk that you could fall ill or lose items while you’re away from home, or have to cancel your trip due to circumstances beyond your control.

With travel insurance you can prepare for any eventuality so you can sit back and enjoy your holiday — or claim for to cover your costs if that’s not possible.

While travel insurance isn’t mandatory, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind if something should happen to ruin your holiday — or worse, if you rack up an expensive medical bill abroad.

And don’t overlook travel insurance if you are travelling in Europe and have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). While an EHIC provides access to basic state-provided healthcare in some countries, it doesn’t cover all medical and repatriation costs. A good travel insurance policy can cover all of this plus your belongings and much more.


What does travel insurance cover?

At its most basic level, travel insurance can help cover your costs or reimburse you if:

  • You fall ill or are injured while you’re away
  • Your possessions are lost, damaged or stolen
  • You trip is cancelled or abandoned for a specified reason

Depending on the type of policy you choose, you could be covered for extras such as delayed baggage, loss of travel documents, missed excursions and many more.

You might need to take out a specialist policy or specify if you plan to undertake any extreme or winter sports, if you are going on a cruise, or if you have any existing medical conditions.

You can take out a travel insurance policy for just yourself, joint cover for you and partner, or insurance for your whole family or group.

It takes just a few minutes to get an initial life insurance quote with uSwitch, with cover available from as little as £5 per month. For more information and tips on finding the right cover, read our life insurance guides below:


When should I buy travel insurance?

It might be tempting to put it off until your suitcases are packed, but it’s advisable to get travel insurance as soon as your holiday is booked.

If you buy travel insurance with cancellation cover, you’ll be covered from the moment you buy the policy, rather than the start of your trip. That means you can claim if your flight or holiday is cancelled due to circumstances beyond your control.

It’s worth checking the policy details as most insurers will lay out specific circumstances in which they will pay out on cancellation cover, for example if you can no longer travel because you fall ill, become unemployed, or have to deal with the death of a family member.


How much does travel insurance cost?

Cover could cost as little as a few pounds for a short trip in Europe, for example, but the cost will vary depending on how comprehensive the policy is and any extras that are included.

The price will depend on many factors including where you are travelling to, your age, and how much cover you need.

You might find it’s more expensive to cover cruises, winter sports and existing medical conditions — but it’s important to weigh up the value of the cover compared to the cost of your holiday. You should also consider the cost of receiving emergency medical care, as this can quickly build up to thousands in the worst case.

You can find out how much travel insurance will cost you by getting a quote through uSwitch with money.co.uk below. It takes just a few minutes and you don’t need to provide many details.


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