Make sure you insure your UK holiday

If you're holidaying in the UK, it still makes sense to take out travel insurance.

“Most people wouldn’t normally take out travel insurance for a staycation – after all, the NHS will cover health problems,” says David Byers in The Sunday Times. “However, travel insurance will protect you if, for example, you have to cancel your holiday before it starts because of a family illness or bereavement.” Travel insurance will also pay out if your belongings are stolen during your trip.

You may also be covered for the cost of additional travel and activities for a trip you can no longer go on. “If your holiday company double-books your accommodation and then refunds you, you might still have lost out financially because you paid for a ferry or train to get there. Almost all policies will cover this.”

If you already have an annual travel insurance policy, it will cover holidays in the UK. Alternatively, “it costs £10 to get a standalone policy offering £500 baggage plus £1,000 cancellation and cover to protect a fortnight’s staycation”, says Neil Simpson in The Mail on Sunday.

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Just make sure you read the small print. “For a UK holiday to be classed as a holiday, it needs to be for a minimum of two nights and it has to be more than 25 miles from your home or involve a sea crossing,” Tony Forchione of Money Saving Expert, told The Sunday Times.

While policies will cover commercial premises such as hotels and bed and breakfasts, privately rented cottages may be exempt. Cancellations owing to Covid-19 may not be covered as it is now a “known risk”. If, however, your trip is cancelled due to a local lockdown, “your hotel should cancel your reservation and then refund you”, says Byers.

Protect yourself from cancellations due to Covid-19 with flexible bookings: those that are fully refundable if you need to cancel or offer free amendments if you need to change the date.

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.