Staycations and travel insurance
Given the current uncertainty with Covid-19 and its impact on travel restrictions for foreign holidays, many of us are opting for a domestic holiday this year, but what if anything should be considered in terms of insurance for your "staycation"?
Often, a major driver for purchasing travel insurance is to cover for any emergency medical costs following an accident or illness whilst on holiday abroad, where often private healthcare is the only option. As medical costs are free in the UK, thanks to the National Health Service, medical expenses are not normally something which needs to be covered by insurance for a holiday in the UK.
That does not mean that travel insurance for a staycation is not needed and for a typically low premium, travel insurance can give excellent value. Issues to consider are:
- Are you covered for cancelling your holiday in the event you are told to self isolate by the NHS track and trace service?
- What else are you covered for?
- What other cover does travel insurance provide?
Cover when you've been told to self isolate
As with any insurance, the key is to check policy wordings carefully. Some insurers, but not all, will provide cover where an insured is forced to cancel a holiday because of the requirement to self-isolate. Other policies will only provide an indemnity where any cancellation costs cannot be recovered from another source i.e. from the accommodation provider. To stimulate the market and to react to the prevailing conditions, some hoteliers for example, offer cancellation up to the day of arrival without a penalty.
If you are unsure whether there is cover, it is sensible to call the insurer and ask the question. The last thing you want is to get "pinged" the day before your trip and find out your insurance will not cover you for cancelling your holiday.
Additionally, an insurance policy would need to be in place before the event causing the need to cancel, in order for a claim to be successful. So buy the cover before or when you book the holiday.
What else might you be covered for?
As mentioned above, travel insurance can deliver tremendous value and cover can exist for unexpected/unforeseen events such as:
- Cancelling your trip for a reason such as a bereavement.
- Lost/stolen baggage - although your home and contents insurance may well cover this and it is always important to consider any 'single article limit' if you have particularly expensive items with you.
- Coverage for personal liability issues such as accidental injury to someone else or damage to another person's property.
Is it worth it?
We would always hope not to need to claim on an insurance policy, but whether insurance is 'worth it' requires an individual assessment of whether for the cost of the policy and the coverage available gives suitable protection for eventualities that you might encounter. Factors such as the length and cost of a trip would need to be taken into account and in addition, insurance can provide some peace of mind.
Travel Insurance policy wordings are often quite lengthy. This is because of the scope of cover they can often provide, but it is absolutely crucial to always read the policy wording in order that you know the coverage the policy provides.