Travel Insurance - Do I Need Insurance for a Holiday in the UK?


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Last week my wife and I booked a two centre holiday on the Scottish Isles. Seven days on Skye and then a ferry over to Steornabhagh for a further seven days on the Isle of Lewis. Wonderful scenery, plenty of walks and masses of peace and quiet.

You could have blown me over when my local travel agent assumed that I wanted travel insurance for an additional £27.50. Not on your Nellie the Lock Ness monster, I thought. Who needs travel insurance for a holiday in Britain? The National Health Service is free and in an emergency, my son could drive up and bring us home.

Later in the relaxing setting of my sitting room I got to thinking.

Holiday misfortunes don't only happen abroad. So with my pessimistic hat on, I made a note of the risks:

Some rotter might steal our luggage

Last week I bought an all singing and dancing digital camera especially for the trip. Got it on the Internet. I might lose it whilst away.

If either of us were hospitalised we wouldn't want to be marooned on Skye. We'd want to transfer to our local hospital in Warwickshire.

My wife's parents are getting on. God forbid, but I'd have to cancel the holiday if something happened to them just before we're due to go.

One of us could be taken ill before we depart and we'd be forced to cancel. As the ferries and the hotels were non-cancellable, we'd lose everything we'd paid.

There may be a major delay at the ferry going over to the Isle of Lewis. Besides the inconvenience, we have to arrange an extra overnight stay on Skye.

One of us might be called up for jury service.

Then it struck me. If I were holidaying in the Britain, my existing Home and Contents policy might cover me for loss of my camera or luggage. I dug out the policy document. Lucky I did. I was only insured for “personal possessions” if they were listed and as I'd just bought my digital camera I hadn't got round to listing it as a valuable item on my policy.

Another aspect struck me. I'd lose my no claims discount if I made a holiday related claim on my Home & Contents policy. That wouldn't be a good idea. I've got a ten year claims free record that policy and it still cost me £310 a year. I jotted down a another note – remember, when the policy comes up for renewal, see if I could get it cheaper on the Internet.

By now a travel policy at £27.50 for was looking worthwhile after all.

Now my wife says I'm a bit of an old skin flint. So keep up the image! I know, get back online and check out the travel agents’ policy at £27.50. Is it competitive?

Not all the web sites I surfed could offer me a single trip travel policy for a holiday within the UK but within ten minutes I'd found what I wanted - and a saving of over £10!

Time to study the small print to confirm I had the cover I wanted. Great, all the risks I had noted were covered. The insurer would even pay out £30 if my ferry was delayed for up to 12 hours and then give me the option to cancel my trip to the Isle of Lewis and get my money back.

Now what wouldn't they pay for? I wasn't covered if my holiday was for less than two nights or my hotel was less than 25 miles away from home. I also had to meet the first £30 of any claim. Seemed fair to me.

The decision was made. Simply type in my credit card details and I was insured in a CLICK.

Peace of mind restored!

Michael writes for Brokers Online who offer most UK financial services including travel insurance

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