Travel Insurance for the UK

Travelling to the UK for a much-needed holiday? Compare your travel insurance options with Savvy.

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, updated on September 4th, 2023       

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Compare Travel Insurance Quotes in 30 Seconds

Whether you’re planning a tour of Buckingham Palace or a road trip through the English countryside, it’s always important to have peace of mind when you’re travelling to the United Kingdom. If you’re searching for the right travel insurance cover for your next international journey, Savvy can point you in the right direction.

By comparing with us, you can find a policy which offers you the right protection, whether your flights are delayed, your luggage goes missing or you fall ill while overseas. We provide instant quotes from our partners, so you can consider their pros and cons and compare the cost of each policy. Before you take off overseas, compare your travel insurance options with Savvy today.

Do I need travel insurance for a holiday to the UK?

You don’t necessarily ‘need’ travel insurance if you’re taking a trip to the UK. However, it’s strongly recommended that you purchase a policy before you jet off on your holiday, whether you’re planning to tour the clifftops and moors of Cornwall or exploring the Scottish Highlands.

A holiday to the UK can be rich with culture and history, whether you want to tour the lauded galleries or museums, eat your way through the restaurants or walk the national parks. However, the UK still has many risks for its visitors, so it’s a good idea to compare with Savvy and obtain the best travel insurance.

If you’re eager to experience all of what the UK has to offer, some of the incidentals to watch out for include:

  • Terrorism: attacks in the UK have been orchestrated by international terrorists. Terrorism is considered to be a “serious” danger by the British government, which means that an attack is seen as very probable. Maintain a heightened state of vigilance with regard to terrorism and heed official cautions.
  • Flooding: UK waterways are susceptible to flooding during stormy weather, particularly in the winter months. The spread of disease and disruptions to transportation and lodging are all potential outcomes of flooding. If a natural catastrophe strikes while you're there on holiday, your accommodation should be able to tell you what to do. Make sure you stay up to date on flood alerts if you’re visiting an area prone to flooding.
  • Remote areas: wear sturdy shoes, such as hiking boots, if you plan on exploring one of the numerous national parks or rural regions. You never know what kind of wildlife you could encounter. Be wary of a few things, mainly adders, the UK's most venomous snake. Keep in mind that wild animals may act in unexpected ways if they feel threatened, so it's important to maintain a safe distance.
  • Petty crime: while visitors seldom become targets of crime in the United Kingdom, petty crimes can still happen. It pays to be on high alert since petty theft is more likely to occur in crowded, high-traffic places like underground railway stations or busy city streets. It’ll work in your favour if you seem like a long-time local rather than a run-of-the-mill tourist. Also, a few simple precautions, like always carrying your camera in a closed case and planning your route ahead of time, may make a huge impact.
  • Protests and demonstrations: Belfast and Derry in Northern Ireland, for example, have a history of violence between Protestants and Catholics and are thus less safe than other places in the United Kingdom. Although Northern Ireland is tranquil and generally considered safe to visit today, it is vital to be attentive to the history of the region since “The Troubles” lasted for many years.

What’s covered by my travel insurance for my holiday to the UK?

Depending on the policy and level of protection, travel insurance can help if you become ill or injured while travelling, lose your things, or suffer airline cancellations or delays. Some travel insurance benefits are:

  1. Overseas medical bills: while the UK has a reciprocal health agreement with Australia (which means you’re covered for medical treatment while visiting the country if you have a Medicare card), it’s still a good idea to take out travel insurance if you are struck down with an illness or even injure yourself and require medical attention.
  2. Evacuation or repatriation: if you're critically ill and your insurance company's physicians say you need to return home, they'll pay for your evacuation and repatriation. This includes if you need to leave ship on a trip, which may cost up to $100,000 without insurance.
  3. Cancellation: many travel insurance carriers may refund pre-paid deposits on hotels, flights, or excursions if you cancel your trip due to a covered occurrence. Illness, injury, or a sick or dying family member are among the valid reasons for cancelling a trip.
  4. Lost, stolen or damaged bags: most insurance providers will compensate or replace lost, stolen, or damaged baggage up to an agreed claim amount, which can reach up to $15,000.
  5. Individual items: taking a phone or laptop on your overseas or domestic getaway? Many insurance plans offer sub-limits for lost, damaged, or stolen property. 
  6. Travel delays: most travel insurance cover hotel, food, and other expenses if your flight is delayed longer than 24 hours. This includes delayed luggage owing to a delayed airliner. 
  7. Personal liability: legal issues abroad may be costly. If you're held directly accountable for damage or injury, your insurance company may pay up to $5 million.
  8. Accidental death: if you die overseas in a covered accident, your insurance company can repatriate your remains. They may pay up to $25,000 for funeral or cremation fees.
  9. Optional extras: climbing some of the UK’s highest peaks before your holiday to Ireland or scuba diving off the coast of Wales? Most travel insurance plans don't cover these activities automatically but they do offer supplementary coverage for an added premium.

However, most travel insurance companies won’t cover you for the following incidentals:

  1. Unapproved pre-existing medical conditions
  2. Lost possessions left unattended
  3. Breaking local laws and road rules
  4. Accidents caused by drug or alcohol use
  5. Travelling to a country against Australian government advice
  6. Travelling for medical tourism 

What factors should I consider before buying travel insurance for a trip to the UK?

It might be difficult to figure out which policy provides the most beneficial coverage for your next trip to the UK. However, by comparing with Savvy, you may be able to make the experience of searching for the perfect policy a whole lot easier.

Premium cost

It is, of course, in your best interest to keep your insurance premium costs to a minimum. To avoid overpaying for your travel insurance, it is crucial to shop around and get the best possible policy at a price that works for you. If you’re over 50 and planning a trip to the UK, you may end up paying a higher premium based on your age, so it’ll be worth shopping around to find the best travel insurance policy for your situation.

The type of policy you need

Numerous options exist for travel insurance, whether you're looking for single-trip, annual or one-way cover, so it’s important to consider your travel requirements. For example, if you’re travelling to the UK but also taking a trip to America and other destinations across the year, an annual policy may be more suited to you than single-trip. Take a look at your itinerary, think about how often you’ll be flying and compare it with Savvy so you can get the best insurance for your trip.

What you’re doing in the UK

Carefully consider which insurance company provides the greatest value and level of protection if you’re looking to partake in high-risk pursuits before signing up. If you’re planning to jet ski off the beaches of Brighton or skydive at 14,000 feet, make sure you get a policy that covers you.

Claim limits

In most cases, the amount you may claim from your overseas travel insurance policy will be capped. Check if these limits are enough for your trip and the items you want to take with you by doing a side-by-side comparison of several brands with Savvy.

Inclusions and exclusions

When searching for the best international policy for your trip to the UK, make sure you opt for a policy that best suits your needs. Before settling on one choice, do your homework and weigh what's included and what isn't. For example, a pre-existing condition you suffer from may not be automatically included under one policy, while it could be covered by a competitor.

Types of travel insurance

Why compare travel insurance with Savvy?

Top tips for saving on your travel insurance to the UK

Combine policies

You can get group policies from providers covering you and your partner, your extended family, and even your children or grandchildren. Most providers allow you to include up to 25 people under the same policies, which, if the costs are divided among the travellers, can save you money.

Consider increasing your excess

You can pay less for your travel insurance by increasing the excess you're willing to pay if you need to file a claim. A higher excess can help you save money in the long term, but it shouldn't be so high that it causes you financial hardship to pay it.

Only pay for what you need

There's no point paying for cover you're not going to use on your holiday. Before you purchase a policy, read the PDS and make sure you aren’t paying extra for add-ons such as rental car hire or cruise coverage if you don't have any intentions of either hiring a car or sailing across the seas.

Compare your travel insurance options

Using Savvy to help you decide lets you easily see which provider gives you the best coverage for the lowest price. You can compare policies side by side so you can weigh what's included, what's not included, the price of your premium, and any other essential factors.

Frequently asked questions about travel insurance for the UK

Does travel insurance for the UK cover me for COVID-19-related costs?

Yes – most travel insurance policies cover any COVID-19-related expenses, such as medical treatment while you’re in the UK and the need to cancel your holiday if you test positive before you leave. However, cancellation due to COVID-19 isn’t usually available on basic policies. The risk of testing positive for COVID-19 is still quite high if you’re travelling to the UK as of September 2022, so it’s best to wear a mask when possible if you’re worried about contracting the disease.

Can I take out travel insurance if I’m already in the UK?

Yes – you can buy travel insurance if you’re already wheels up and headed to the UK for your holiday. You’ll be afforded the exact coverage you would usually get if you purchased before departure. However, these policies have waiting periods of between 48 and 96 hours. This means that if you suffer a claimable incident inside this period, you won’t be able to make a claim.

When is the best time to buy travel insurance for the UK?

Most people in the know will tell you the best time to purchase your travel insurance is when you know your travel dates. That allows you to be covered for the maximum amount of pre-paid bookings, such as those for hotels or tours if something unforeseen happens and you need to call off your holiday. There are also often sales on around holiday periods, such as Easter, Christmas and the End of the Financial Year, which means you could snap up a policy at a discount. In most cases, you won’t be able to get instant cover, as most policies have waiting periods of at least 72 hours.

How do I make a claim on my travel insurance if I’m in the UK?

When you do it online, claiming on your travel insurance is a pretty easy process. When you go to your insurance company's website, enter your policy number and the email address that goes with it. From there, you can do the following:

  • Fill out your claim form with plenty of detail
  • Attach any documents, such as receipts, medical evidence, or proof of purchase
  • Submit your claim

 
The majority of the time, you should hear back from your insurance company within about ten business days. It's best to quickly answer any requests for more information to avoid slowing down the process.

How much will my travel insurance to the UK cost?

The cost of your travel insurance to the UK will be determined by a range of interchangeable variables, including:

  • Your age
  • The length of your trip and destinations
  • Whether you suffer any pre-existing conditions
  • If you need optional extras
  • The insurer you’ve chosen
  • The level of cover you have purchased
  • What part of the UK you’re travelling to (for example, you may not be able to receive cover if you’re travelling somewhere experiencing a natural disaster or an outbreak of infectious disease)

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Disclaimer:
We do not compare all travel insurance brands currently operating in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and does not consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

Savvy earns a commission from our partners each time a customer buys a travel insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via their websites.

Before purchasing your policy, we recommend you refer to the provider’s PDS for any further information on the terms, inclusions and exclusions.