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Do I need travel insurance in the UK?

As summer starts creeping in, and we’re all hoping Covid-19 is on the way out, people are starting to feel the excitement and anticipation of potential holidays, after nearly a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions. While we may be unable to go abroad just yet, there are plenty of holiday opportunities in the UK – and for most people, even just a change of scenery within the island will be enough to revitalise and relax both body and mind.

When it comes to travelling within the UK, it’s not restricted to just those going on holiday. Plenty of flights, long distance trains and accommodation are booked by people travelling for work. Whether you intend to visit relatives, sightsee a few of the country’s most popular cities, or simply attend a work summit, travel insurance is worth looking into. All manner of things that can happen when you book a trip, such as flight cancellations, overbooked hotels and car breakdowns which can all be covered and reimbursed with travel insurance.

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is an optional insurance policy which covers the potential financial losses incurred when travelling. Most people consider travel insurance to be relevant only when leaving the UK, but domestic travel insurance is just as important if you want to protect your hard-earned money while on holiday or away from home. Travel insurance typically covers:

Even if you aren’t crossing the border, it’s still possible to face cancelled internal flights or stolen phones and cameras.

Is travel insurance in the UK necessary?

Whilst it’s not a compulsory insurance, taking out travel insurance for holidays in the UK usually only costs a few pounds, so it’s worth having the extra protection, given the potential cost of something going wrong. It provides the same cover as travel insurance when you go abroad, and most people wouldn’t think twice about taking out a policy when leaving the country. However, there are other ways to protect yourself from financial loss when it comes to travelling, and you might already have some policies in place.

Packaged bank accounts

You might find you already have some level of travel insurance included in a packaged bank account deal; in which case you won’t need to take out additional cover. As well as travel insurance, you might find you have breakdown cover and mobile phone insurance, meaning you’re pretty much covered on your staycation or work trip.

Breakdown cover

If you are driving to your destination and you have breakdown cover, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ve got assistance should you breakdown en route. If your breakdown policy doesn’t include onward journey cover, however, you could end up stuck at the nearest garage. Always check your policy before setting off on a long journey – check your tyre pressure and oil level too! You might be able to amend your breakdown cover to include onward journey assistance, however you’ll likely need to pay for the additional option.

Credit cards

Paying for flights and accommodation on a credit card, as opposed to a debit card, also offers more consumer protections to aid reimbursement if your flight is cancelled or your accommodation is overbooked. It doesn’t work exactly like insurance, so it’s not a bad idea to take out travel insurance as well, even if you have booked your holiday on a credit card.

Extra Cash on Holiday

You might look at borrowing money when booking a holiday to ensure you have enough funds to cover any potential expenses while away from home. For quick cash, some may consider a credit line or payday loan, because the funds are transferred directly into your bank account. This saves you worrying about extra payment cards, and also makes it easy to withdraw cash from an ATM, as you won’t face cash withdrawal fees, as is common with credit cards.

Whenever considering credit to cover potential financial shortfall, rather than actual money issues, it’s always better to use an option that means you won’t be charged if you don’t borrow the funds. This is why a credit line is often a more popular option over payday loans: if you don’t withdraw any funds from your credit line, you don’t have to pay any interest or fees. It can serve as a financial security blanket when on holiday, even in the UK.

More Information

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For more helpful information about how to manage your money, different financial products or what we do at Polar Credit, take a look at our Info Hub.