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Best travel insurance UK 2024 guide

top ten travel insurance uk

We all deserve a break now and then. And the last thing you want to think of when booking your holiday is something going wrong. But it’s better to be prepared than caught off guard. That’s why you should always consider travel insurance when going on a trip.

But how can you find the best travel insurance policy for your needs? Read our guide below to find out more.

Why do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance protects you financially if your trip away doesn’t go as planned and you incur unexpected expenses for delays, losses or medical treatment.

All travellers can benefit from travel insurance. But travel insurance is particularly important if you are going on an independent trip without a tour operator, because if something goes wrong, you will have no other help.

There are three main types of travel insurance:

  • Single-trip cover: this is the most typical form of travel insurance, covering you for a one-off trip or holiday. There will be a time limit on the cover that can range anywhere between one month and 365 days
  • Annual multi-trip cover: this allows you to make multiple trips, or have multiple holidays, in a 12-month period, all under the same travel insurance policy. There may be a cap on how long each individual trip can be
  • Long stay, or backpacker, cover: this is normally used for around the world trips, gap years, and longer cruises, and can last for up to 18 months

To find the best UK travel insurance, compare policies before you go to ensure you get the right coverage for you and the specific trip you’re planning.

How to find the best travel insurance policy

icons8-scales-96

When comparing policies to find the best travel insurance for your trip, you should consider: 

  • Type of cover you need
  • Excess (how much you’ll be expected to pay out yourself before the policy will cover you)
  • Amount of medical coverage, and why pre-existing conditions aren’t included
  • Limit on baggage claims
  • Coverage for specific sports and activities
  • Any potential rewards and discounts
  • Add-ons, such as gadget insurance

Best travel insurance deals and discounts

Looking for the best travel insurance deals from the best travel insurance companies? In most cases, the easiest way to find the best travel insurance deals is to use a comparison website. Travel insurance comparison websites let you compare costs and coverage side by side to find the best UK travel insurance.

The four main comparison websites – Moneysupermarket, Comparethemarket, Confused.com and GoCompare – also often have certain deals and discounts when you buy travel insurance from them, offering some of the best travel insurance deals on the market.

Moneysupermarket : Find the same deal for less, and it will price match and give you a choice of a £20 gift card. Only on annual travel insurance.

Comparethemarket : Two for one cinema tickets with Meerkat Movies and savings at restaurants when you dine out or order pizza in with Meerkat Meals, as well as 25 per cent off coffee and pastries at Caffè Nero every day of the week through the Meerkat app.

(In November 2023, Confused.com and GoCompare had no deals or discounts for travel insurance).

Price is obviously a big consideration when you are looking for the best travel insurance – you’ve probably already spent a lot on your holiday. But you may be able to get much better coverage for just a few pounds extra, so it’s worth scrolling down the comparison site’s list of providers before buying.

Medical costs abroad will undoubtedly be the biggest expense you face if you fall ill abroad, so don’t scrimp on those.

Then think about your next biggest expense (probably cancellation/interruption of your trip) and make sure that you have high-value coverage for that.

If you find you can get much higher coverage (the maximum amount you can claim per type of claim, such as medical or baggage) for not very much more money, go for the slightly more expensive option.

Going direct

Comparison sites won’t always find you the cheapest deals, however. For example, Direct Line offers some of the best travel insurance with Covid cover and is not on comparison websites.

Some of the best travel insurance companies also offer discounts for buying directly from them, as follows:

Bundled coverage options

When looking for the best travel insurance for your holiday, it can make sense to buy a bundle of coverage under one policy.

Comparison websites will often offer add-on gadget cover, winter sports cover or cruise cover all under the one policy. If you need that extra cover, it is typically cheaper to buy your travel insurance this way rather than as separate policies.

What is covered by travel insurance?

The best travel insurance companies will offer you comprehensive coverage across all types of claims. It’s easy to compare the best travel insurance deals using a comparison website.

Medical coverage

This covers you for medical expenses you incur if you become ill or have an accident while away. The best UK travel insurance will have a high level of medical coverage.

For example, medical coverage will pay for any necessary treatment if you come down with severe food poisoning or you fall through a window and have to be taken to hospital in an ambulance.

  • Avoid hefty bills or debt for medical assistance outside the UK
  • Access better treatment – for example, at private vs public hospitals
  • Often, as long as you declare existing conditions or pending treatment or tests, you are covered if you fall ill during your trip (check policy exclusions)
  • Even the best travel insurance companies will likely charge you more if you have a pre-existing medical condition
  • You might have to pay part or all your medical expenses first, then claim on the policy afterwards
  • Even the best travel insurance companies do not cover events that happen after you have consumed alcohol excessively or taken recreational drugs or other substances

Trip cancellation/interruption

This insurance pays out the cost of your missed trip if you have to cancel or cut your holiday short due to unforeseen circumstances.

Young woman in international airport looking at the flight information board, holding passport in her hand, checking her flight

For example, cancellation insurance would normally pay out if you broke your leg just before you were due to travel and had to cancel your trip.

Interruption insurance would cover you if you had to come home early for certain reasons beyond your control – for example, if the area you were staying in was engulfed in wildfires.

  • Money you would have lost on pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses is paid to you under the policy
  • It can be especially valuable if the trip you are planning is very expensive, as this is money you would lose if you couldn’t go
  • You’ll usually only be covered if your trip is cancelled or cut short for specific reasons listed in your policy
  • You usually won’t be covered if you miss your flight because you are held by customs or cancel because of a work issue or a pre-existing medical condition that is not covered

Baggage cover

This insurance covers the cost of replacing your luggage if it is lost or stolen.

For example, if an airline loses your luggage in transit or your suitcase is stolen from your hostel while you’re away, you can make a claim for the cost of replacing its contents.

You may also be able to claim for costs related to baggage delay if the airline temporarily misplaced your baggage.

  • You can claim for the actual cash value of your belongings or the cost of replacing them (whichever is less)
  • High-value items, such as jewellery or sports equipment, can be very expensive to replace without travel insurance
  • Standard policies usually place per item and total limits on claims.
  • If you are taking very expensive items away, check your policy carefully to ensure that you’re covered (and potentially get a separate policy)
  • Some items could be covered by your home insurance policy, so check your policy carefully to see what is any isn’t. It’s also important to note that, should a lost item be covered by both policies, you can only claim once; an attempt to claim twice would be considered fraud

Personal liability

This insurance covers you if you are held responsible for harming another person or damaging their property.

For example, it covers you in situations where you cause serious damage to your holiday accommodation or accidentally stumble into someone else, causing them to need medical treatment.

  • The cost of defending yourself in a legal case or repairing/replacing damage could be extremely costly without travel insurance
  • Your travel insurance company will take over dealing with a foreign legal system
  • You’re covered for the cost of any compensation (up to certain limits)

Limits: 

  • Not all travel insurance provides personal liability as standard
  • Policies may exclude personal liability while you partake in adventure activities
  • Claims related to you committing a crime or damage by wilful negligence won’t be covered
  • You likely will not be covered if you admit liability or make an offer to pay before talking to your insurer

Finding the best travel insurance with Covid cover

Looking for the best travel insurance with Covid cover? Many travel insurance policies now include cancellation cover for reasons related to Covid. This often applies within two weeks of being due to travel, according to the Association of British Insurers, but individual policies can vary.

To make a claim, insurers often require proof in the form of a medically approved positive Covid test. A lateral flow test or self-diagnosis is usually not accepted.

What Covid-related cover to look for

The best travel insurance with Covid cover should include the following:

  • Cover if you can’t start your trip because you tested positive for Covid before travelling
  • Cover if you or family members cannot return home because you/they test positive for Covid during the holiday
  • Cover for additional costs, such as alternative flights, accommodation and Covid tests
  • Cover if you cannot reach your final destination during transit due to Covid-19

Travel insurance providers with comprehensive Covid cover

Looking for the best travel insurance providers with Covid cover? Most travel insurance policies now offer some kind of Covid cover, but Churchill, Direct Line, M&S and Aviva have some of the most comprehensive offerings, with cover for cancellations and expenses related to Covid.

top ten travel insurance uk

  • Covid covered as standard on travel insurance policies
  • Cover for trip cancellations if you, a close relative or a travelling companion is diagnosed with Covid-19 or another pandemic disease
  • Cover if you or a person you’re planning to stay with must quarantine (abroad or in the UK)
  • Cover if you can’t use pre-booked and pre-paid accommodation affected by Covid-19
  • Cover for quarantine or where the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against travel within 28 days of departure
  • Cover for emergency medical expenses abroad due to Covid-19

Direct Line

top ten travel insurance uk

  • Cover for travel to a destination where the FCDO is advising against all but essential travel 
  • Cover for medical expenses if you catch Covid-19 while you’re away 
  • Cover for additional accommodation and transport if you have to quarantine due to Covid
  • Cover for cancellation costs if you or a close relative get Covid-19 before you go
  • Cover for quarantine or if the FCDO changes its advice after you book your trip
  • Cover if you have to cut your trip short if the FCDO changes its country advice unexpectedly

top ten travel insurance uk

  • Cover for emergency medical expenses if you catch Covid-19 during your trip
  • Cover for unrecoverable costs up to £6,000 if you must cancel your trip or return early, including if you have to self-isolate or quarantine before you travel due to Covid-19
  • Cover for if you need to cancel your trip due to a positive Covid-19 test or if the FCDO advise against travel to your destination in the 31 days leading up to your trip
  • Providing you haven’t travelled against FCDO advice, you’ll also be covered if you catch Covid-19 while abroad

top ten travel insurance uk

  • Coverage of up to £5,000 per person if you must cancel your trip due to getting Covid (you’ll need to provide confirmation and evidence of a positive test result)
  • Cover for Covid-related emergency medical treatment and expenses while away
  • Cover if you unexpectedly need to quarantine, including extra travel and accommodation costs to get home (provided a return trip was booked) 
  • Cover for costs for any accommodation and excursions unused due to getting Covid where the costs can’t be recovered elsewhere
  • No cover you if you travel against FCDO advice*
  • No cover if you can’t travel because you don’t meet the entry requirements of a country (such as having had Covid vaccinations)*

* It’s worth noting that these clauses are not unusual and the majority of providers will have something similar

Tips for selecting the best UK travel insurance packages

Need some help picking the best UK travel insurance packages to make sure that you get the best travel insurance deals? Here are some tips for picking the best policy features for you.

Coverage limits

When looking for the best travel insurance companies to go with, check coverage limits. These are the maximum amounts your travel insurer will pay if you need to claim. You’ll see when you compare travel insurance policies that coverage limits vary for each type of claim and between policies.

The government-backed MoneyHelper website recommends that the best UK travel insurance should have the following minimum coverage for each type of claim:

  • Medical: £1m or more for travel to Europe and £2m or more for the US
  • Cancellation/interruption: £2,000 or more
  • Missed departure: £500 or more
  • Delay: £200 or more
  • Baggage cover: £1,500 or more
  • Personal liability cover: £2 million or more

Deductibles/excess

Deductibles, also known as the excess, is the amount you have to pay out of your own pocket before your travel insurance will start paying for your claim.

You have to make a trade-off when it comes to choosing the excess and the best travel insurance policy for you.

The lower the excess on a travel insurance policy, the better for you if you have to claim because you will have less to pay from your own pocket (or, more often, deducted from your claim).

But lower excess travel insurance policies are more expensive because the insurer knows it has more to pay out if you claim. Higher excess policies are cheaper, but you’ll have more deducted from your claim.

An exclusion on a travel insurance policy is an event the policy will not cover you for.

Common exclusions on a standard travel insurance policy may not be obvious. According to the ABTA – The Travel Association, these include:

  • Incidents that occur after drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs
  • Theft of unattended possessions
  • Sports, extreme sports and activities such as skiing, white water rafting and bungee jumping
  • Medical treatment resulting from existing medical conditions you have not declared or conditions preventable by vaccine or advisable medication, such as antimalarials
  • Medical costs if you stay abroad after your doctor says you are fit to return to the UK
  • Strikes and industrial action if it was known when you booked your trip
  • Rescheduled flights where the airline has cancelled and then rescheduled your flight
  • Travel to destinations where the FCDO advises against all but essential travel

To get the best travel insurance deals, one way around some of these exclusions is to buy add-ons for adventure activities. In addition, make sure to declare all pre-existing conditions and keep an eye out for any travel disruptions before you book.

Pre-existing conditions

Pre-existing conditions are illnesses or medical conditions you have and are aware of before you travel.

Travel insurance companies will ask you to disclose any pre-existing conditions. If you use a comparison website, it will be among the first questions you’re asked before it shows you quotes. It’s important to be honest.

Some travel insurance companies, but not all, will offer cover for pre-existing medical conditions, while others will offer cover but exclude any claims arising from that medical condition. This will depend on the person being covered and the medical condition.

Most price comparison websites include an option to show insurers who do offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, so that would be a good place to start.

The following are likely to be considered pre-existing conditions you should disclose, according to the government-backed MoneyHelper website:

  • A condition where you are on a list for an operation
  • A condition where you are waiting for test results
  • Anything you have been to the doctor about in the last year, including minor things
  • Any serious conditions you’ve ever had – for example, cancer, heart trouble, respiratory problems or a mental health breakdown

A good tip for everyone, but especially if you have a pre-existing condition, is to buy your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday. If your condition gets worse and forces you to cancel your plans, you’ll be covered from the day the policy starts.

On family group policies, the cost will be determined based on the riskiest traveller (according to insurers), which could be someone with a pre-existing condition or an older individual. In this case, it is often cheaper for the group for that person to get a separate policy.

Add-on options

Add-ons are extras you can purchase in addition to a standard travel insurance policy. They cost a bit more, but you may find you’re not covered without them. 

Gadget insurance

This covers things that a standard policy may not, such as your mobile phone or laptop. If these items are covered, you may find the claim limits are far less than the cost of replacing them.

Close-up of a person holding a phone taking a picture of a beaut

Before you add this option to your travel insurance, check your home insurance policy, because you may already be covered.

Winter sports/adventure activities

Riskier activities, such as skiing or white water rafting, often require extra holiday insurance because insurers think that you are more likely to need to make a claim doing these things.

Winter sports/adventure activities cover is worth getting, or you may find you are not covered for medical expenses if something goes wrong.

Standard travel insurance is generally meant for land-based holidays so you’ll need to opt for a specialist cruise policy if your holiday is a cruise.

European FCDO travel advice extension

Most standard travel insurance policies are invalid if you travel when the FCDO advises against “all but essential travel”.

This add-on allows you to travel to Europe with a valid travel insurance policy, even if the FCDO has advised against it.

This can be an expensive add-on, but if you really must travel to a risky area, you will need this extension in order to make sure you have cover.

Best holiday insurance summary

Choosing the right travel insurance is an essential part of enjoying peace of mind while you are on holiday.

When looking for the best travel insurance deals, don’t just pick the cheapest policy. Instead, look for the cover limits that match your requirements. For example, baggage cover of £5,000 isn’t worth having if your baggage is worth £1,000; cancellation cover up to £10,000 isn’t worth having if your holiday cost you £2,000.

The easiest way to compare the best travel insurance is usually by using a travel insurance comparison website.

Think about the sort of activities you’ll be doing while you’re away. You may need extra holiday insurance for things such as winter sports or scuba diving or if you are going on a cruise.

Be honest about any pre-existing conditions when buying your travel insurance, or you won’t be covered if you have to claim.

The best travel insurance is a safety net for you and your family to enjoy your trip away stress-free, knowing that you’re covered for everything from medical expenses to cancellations if things go wrong.

Frequently asked questions about the best travel insurance UK packages

Is travel insurance necessary for domestic travel within the uk.

Even where medical costs in the UK are covered by the NHS, a sudden illness could lead to other expenses, forcing you to cancel your trip, the costs of which travel insurance would cover.

Lost or stolen luggage and broken gadgets or other claims for damage can just as easily occur in the UK as abroad.

What is annual travel insurance, and is it a good option for frequent travellers?

Annual travel insurance is a policy that covers you for multiple trips away within any 12-month period. It is often cheaper than buying a separate policy for each trip if you are planning to go away multiple times in one year.

Annual travel insurance is also useful if you are planning a long trip visiting several countries, as often insurers require you to buy travel insurance before you leave the UK rather than abroad mid-trip.

Are there any travel insurance companies that specialise in certain types of trips or travellers?

Specialist travel insurers cater to specific groups of people. It can make sense to seek out travel insurers that cover your needs.

Adventures Insurance, Sports Cover Direct and Snowcard tailor their travel insurance to those who enjoy activity holidays and extreme sports, for example.

Senior travellers are the focus of policies from All Clear, Avanti, Co-op Insurance Services, Free Spirit Flex, Good 2 Go Extra, Goodtogo Insurance, Saga, Staysure and Total Travel Protection.

Insurers offering business trip cover include Allianz, Direct Line, Coverwise and Insure & Go.

How do I make a claim with my travel insurance company?

To claim on your travel insurance while you are away, make sure that you take your policy number with you and the emergency number for your insurer. If you are travelling abroad, take any international numbers too.

Call your insurer as soon as you realise you need to make a claim. Keep all receipts and medical expense forms. If you are travelling with other people, make them aware of your policy details and the insurer’s phone number in case they need to call on your behalf.

To make a claim when you return home, check the following:

  • You haven’t left it too late to make a claim
  • What you’re claiming for is covered
  • The excess is not more than the value of your claim (if so, it’s not worth claiming)

Notify your insurer as soon as possible for a claim form, send it back fast and keep a copy of it. You should also include copies of paperwork to support your claim, such as receipts or medical certificates (keep copies of the originals in case your claim is queried or refused).

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Laura Miller

Laura Miller is a freelance journalist, editor, and producer. She has a wealth of consumer finance experience, having written about money matters and business for over 15 years.

During her tenure as a freelance writer, she has worked for ITN, Wired, and The Sunday Times, as well as financial institutions such as Aegon, the Chartered Insurance Institute, and Pension Bee, where she’s presenter of the Pension Confident Podcast.

Laura has previously held roles at The Times, where she was the Acting Editor of Times Money Mentor, The Telegraph as a senior finance reporter and was the co-host of the It’s Your Money Podcast, which was renowned for making complex finance issues accessible, and The Financial Times, where she worked as a News Editor. Laura has also worked at CNN, Politics.co.uk, and as a producer at Radio 5 Live.

Connor Campbell new profile April 2024

Connor Campbell

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade. 

Connor is the personal finance expert for Independent Advisor, guiding readers through everything they need to know about car insurance and home insurance. From how much it costs to the best insurance providers in the UK, he’s here to help you find the right policy for your needs. 

In his capacity as writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet , Connor explored a number of topics close to his heart, such as the impact of our increasingly cashless society, and the hardships and heroics of British entrepreneurs. His commentary was featured in sites such as The Mirror , the Daily Express and Business Insider . 

At financial trading firm Spreadex, meanwhile, his market commentary was featured in outlets such as The Guardian , BBC , Reuters and the Evening Standard . 

Connor is a voracious reader with an MA in English, and is dedicated to making life’s financial decisions a little bit easier by doing away with jargon and needless complexity.

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Best Travel Insurance

Here's our pick of the UK's best travel insurance policies, based on independent research 🏆

Top 10 Travel Insurance 2024

  • Cedartree, Platinum 🥇
  • Avanti, Deluxe – up to 16.8% cashback 🥈
  • Tesco Bank, Premier 🥉
  • Columbus Direct,Gold – up to 20.8% cashback
  • LV=, Premier – up to £12.80 cashback
  • Covered2Go, Platinum
  • AA Travel Insurance, Gold
  • Direct Line, Single Trip & Annual
  • FreeSpirit, Gold
  • Puffin Insurance, Platinum

We also have specific Top 10s for Backpacker / Long Stay Travel Insurance and Pre-existing Medical Conditions Travel Insurance .

How did we come up with this list?

We used an algorithm to combine independent ratings from Which? and Fairer Finance with Mr. Travel's summaries of customer feedback from reviews websites 🤓  

Top 10 Travel Insurance Reviews

Read on for insights into the policy features of 2023's best travel insurance policies, as well as a summary of what the experts make of them.

Cedartree Travel Insurance: Platinum Policy

Tailored for Specific Needs

Cedartree's Platinum policy offers a range of specialized coverages to address specific requirements. With a 75% Which? policy score and a ranking of 16, Cedartree stands as a reputable provider. The policy includes medical expenses cover (£15,000,000), baggage cover (£3,000), and cancellation cover (£7,500). Cedartree specializes in cover for cruises, but not for medical conditions, travellers over 65, or winter sports activities.

Read the full Cedartree review or get a quote .

Avanti: Deluxe Policy

Unlimited Medical Expenses Cover

Avanti's Deluxe policy boasts unlimited medical expenses cover, setting it apart from other providers. With a Which? policy score of 70% and a ranking of 41, Avanti provides superior Covid Cover and caters to those with medical conditions. The policy also includes baggage cover (£3,000), cancellation cover (£10,000), and no excess payable on medical claims.

Get up to 16.8% cashback on Avanti travel insurance at Quidco, or read the full review .

Tesco: Premier Policy

Cover for Every Occasion

Known for their vast range of products, Tesco offers a comprehensive Premier policy that ranks impressively at number 3 with an 80% Which? policy score. With superior Covid Cover, Tesco's policy delivers an extensive range of coverage. Notably, the policy provides a high medical expenses cover of £20,000,000, baggage cover (£3,000), and cancellation cover (£10,000). Tesco also offers cover for cruises, winter sports activities, and backpackers .

Get notified about cashback on Tesco travel insurance by Quidco, or read the full review .

Columbus Direct: Gold Policy

Competitive Benefits for Explorers

Columbus Direct's Gold policy secures a 67% Which? policy score and ranks 47th, highlighting its competitive benefits. The policy provides medical expenses cover up to £15,000,000 and includes baggage cover (£2,500) and cancellation cover (£50,000). You can also avail specialized coverage for medical conditions, cruises, and winter sports activities.

Read the full review of Columbus Direct Travel Insurance , or head over to Quidco for up to 20.8% cash back .  

LV: Premier Policy

Trusted Protection for All

With a Which? policy score of 77% and ranking at number 11, LV's Premier policy offers comprehensive coverage. The policy includes medical expenses cover (£10,000,000), baggage cover (£3,000), and cancellation cover (£10,000). LV specializes in providing coverage for medical conditions, cruises, and travellers over 65.

You can get up to £8.50 cashback on LV= travel insurance at Quidco – or you can read our full review of LV= Premier here .

Covered2Go: Platinum Policy

A Comprehensive Cover for Everyone

Covered2Go's Platinum policy stands out as a top choice due to its multitude of features. With a policy score of 79% from Which?, it secures a prestigious fifth position among 71 providers, ensuring high-quality coverage. Notably, Covered2Go excels in Covid Cover with its superior rating. Moreover, the policy offers extensive medical expenses cover (£10,000,000), baggage cover (£5,000), and cancellation cover (£7,500). They also specialize in providing coverage for medical conditions, cruises, travellers over 65 , and winter sports enthusiasts.

Check out our complete review of Covered2Go here .

AA: Gold Policy

Trusted and Reliable Assistance

The AA, a renowned name in the UK, brings forth their Gold policy with a solid Which? policy score of 74% and ranks at number 21. Similar to Covered2Go, the AA offers superior Covid Cover . The policy features medical expenses cover up to an impressive £15,000,000, along with comprehensive cover for airline failure and cancellation (£5,000). While they don't specialize in certain areas such as medical conditions and cruises, the AA does provide winter sports coverage.

Looking for an in-depth review of AA Travel Insurance ? We've got you covered!

Free Spirit: Gold Policy

The Saviours for Pre-Existing Medical Conditions?

Free Spirit's Gold policy resonates with those who have pre-existing medical conditions, earning a Which? policy score of 72% and ranking 32nd. With specialized coverage for medical conditions and cruises, Free Spirit has tailored its policy to meet the unique needs of these travellers. The policy offers up to £10,000,000 in medical expenses cover, baggage cover (£2,500), and cancellation cover (£5,000).

Read our full review of Free Spirit here .

Direct Line: Direct Line Single Trip & Annual

Simplicity and Convenience in One

Direct Line makes travel insurance simple and convenient with their Single Trip and Annual policies. With a solid Which? policy score of 76% and ranking at number 17, Direct Line ensures complete coverage. The policies provide a medical expenses cover of £10,000,000, and include baggage cover (£1,500) and cancellation cover (£5,000). Direct Line also caters to winter sports enthusiasts.

Read our longer review of Direct Line travel insurance , including customer reviews.

Puffin Insurance: Platinum Policy

An Adventure Awaits

Puffin Insurance's Platinum policy completes our list, with a Which? policy score of 75% and ranking at number 19. The policy offers medical expenses cover of £10,000,000, baggage cover (£2,500), and cancellation cover (£5,000). Puffin Insurance stands out by providing specialized cover for winter sports activities but does not specialize in medical conditions, cruises, or travellers over 65 .

Read the complete review of Puffin Travel Insurance here.

Looking for reviews on the best of the rest?

Did you know, Mr. Travel has reviewed more than 100 travel insurance companies? 🤯

See all the travel insurance reviews here .

Or, read our guides to the hottest topics in travel insurance.

Reviewed: 100+ UK travel insurance providers

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Compare our best travel insurance

Travel insurance covers you for costs that could occur when you are travelling, find the best travel product for your needs, what is travel insurance.

A travel insurance policy protects you against costs you’d otherwise incur if problems arise when travelling. A good policy will cover you for essentials such as cancellation, lost luggage, delayed flights, stolen property, illness, injury and repatriation.

Sometimes, travel insurance is called “holiday insurance”. You don’t legally need it to travel, but it could prove invaluable if something happens while you were away.

A good policy will cover you for essentials such as cancellation, lost luggage and delayed flights."

Do I need travel insurance?

If you experience problems when travelling, you might have to fork out a lot of money.

For example, if you fall ill overseas, your medical bill can run into tens of thousands of pounds or even more, especially if you must remain in hospital for some time or need to be repatriated. 

Don’t fall into the trap of only getting round to travel insurance when you’re pretty much on your way to the airport. Always search for and buy cover when you book your trip, so you’re protected against cancellations or delays, which could wreck your holiday even before it begins.

The right policy will contain all the elements you need. For example, the personal belongings cover limit should be higher than the cost of replacing any expensive items you’re taking with you.

Worldwide travel insurance 

It’s also worth considering worldwide travel insurance if you are travelling outside of Europe.  Worldwide travel insurance can either include or exclude the USA, Canada and the Caribbean, so read the small print.

Types of travel insurance

Single trip insurance.

This covers you for one trip to just one location (or locations - for example, if you’re travelling to a few destinations) for a specific period of time. The cover ends when you return home.

Multi-trip travel insurance

This covers you for every trip you make during a 12-month period. The best policy will depend on what cover you want and how often you travel. If you’re only going on one or two holidays in the next year, it’s usually a good idea to get single-trip travel insurance.

If you travel more often, annual travel insurance could work out much cheaper in the long run. Here’s how to choose between single-trip travel insurance or annual travel insurance.

How to choose the best travel insurance

Shop around, get the right kind of policy, don’t always get the optional extras, what does travel insurance cover, not covered with some policies, how does pre-existing medical conditions impact travel insurance.

Any pre-existing conditions must be declared when you apply for travel insurance. You’ll need to share information about these when you get your holiday insurance quotes and apply for a policy.

If you don’t declare your medical conditions, you cannot claim on your holiday insurance should you fall ill as a result of your condition. For example, if you don’t tell your insurer about your angina and then suffer a heart attack or stroke while on holiday, your policy probably won’t pay out.

That’s why it’s important to be as open and honest as you can when you sort out travel medical insurance. You might like to find specialist cover for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

If you don’t declare your medical conditions, you cannot claim on your holiday insurance."

How can I get cheap travel insurance?

It’s important to find the best travel insurance for your needs rather than just searching for cheap travel insurance. That’s because cheap holiday insurance might not cover what you need.

If you just need standard travel insurance, searching on a comparison site will provide you with an ample selection of policies to consider. 

If you have more specific needs, such as a pre-existing medical condition, you may need to speak to a specialist. The Money and Pensions Service and the British Insurance Brokers’ Association should be able to help you find affordable cover.

Do I need extra protection or a specialist policy?

Not all activities are covered on every holiday insurance policy. Depending on what you’ll be doing while you’re away, you might need extra cover for activities that aren’t included as standard.

You can tailor your policy with extras such as:

Extreme and winter sports cover: This is for accidents that happen while you take part in sports such as skiing or snowboarding. You might see this being called ski travel insurance

Business cover: This provides cover if you’re travelling for work purposes

Golf cover: This covers your golfing equipment and other associated costs

You can also get specialist policies, including:

Travel insurance for seniors: This is for older people, who are statistically more likely to make a medical claim

Pre-existing medical conditions: This travel insurance element is for people with diagnosed health conditions

Cruise travel insurance: Cruise insurance covers incidents such as cabin confinement or a missed port

Backpacker travel insurance: If you’re going away for longer than usual periods, such as a gap-year trip, you may wish to consider backpacker insurance policies

Family travel insurance: If you’re travelling as a family, this can be a good way to save on the costs as it covers you all

Do I legally need to have travel insurance?

No, but you should never travel without it because medical treatment abroad can cost tens of thousands of pounds or more.

When should I buy travel insurance?

It’s best to buy travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday. That way, you’ll be covered if something happens that means you can’t go or you’re delayed. This could include illness or weather disruptions – but check your policy carefully to see what you’re covered for. If you’re not insured, you won’t be able to claim.

Remember that with travel insurance, you’ll usually have to pay for any costs yourself, and your insurer will pay you back later when you claim. So don’t forget to keep receipts and bills to prove what you paid for.

When might I not need to buy travel insurance?

While you should always travel with insurance, you might not need to buy a policy if you already have it through another source, such as through work or as part of a packaged bank account .

Can I get travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions?

Yes, but it can be more expensive, and not all insurers will cover you. This guide explains how to find travel insurance with pre-existing conditions .

Will my destination be covered?

Most popular destinations will be, but check your policy and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) because some countries may not be insured if they are deemed dangerous.

How long can I go away for?

It depends on your policy, but most insurers offer maximum single-trip lengths of between 30 and 90 days. 

Some insurers will offer longer lengths of cover, such as up to 120 days, although there may be upper age limit restrictions.

Can I claim for cancellation before my holiday starts?

Yes, you’re covered from the moment you take out your policy. For this reason, it’s best to buy travel insurance when you book your trip.

Do I need travel insurance in Europe if I have a EHIC?

Yes, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) only gives you access to basic state-provided healthcare when in European Union countries and Switzerland. It doesn’t cover ongoing care, medicines or repatriation costs.

Despite Brexit, the cards remain valid until their expiration dates. When your EHIC expires, you can replace it with a EHIC UK or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

Will travel insurance cover me if I travel for business?

Yes, and some policies will offer business cover as an extra to cover gadgets and other devices, including laptops and mobile phones as well as business equipment.

Explore our travel insurance guides

How to get travel insurance with pre-existing conditions

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top ten travel insurance uk

Top Travel Insurances for the UK You Should Know in 2024

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com

Byron Mühlberg

Monito's Managing Editor, Byron has spent several years writing extensively about financial- and migration-related topics.

Links on this page, including products and brands featured on ‘Sponsored’ content, may earn us an affiliate commission. This does not affect the opinions and recommendations of our editors.

The United Kingdom is a world-renowned travel destination, known for its history, culture, and iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the British Museum. Although travelling to the UK can be an accessible holiday destination for many people, and although healthcare costs in the country aren't outrageously expensive, it's still a very good idea to arrive there with travel insurance anway, as you'll want the highest-quality healthcare you can find.

Luckily, online global insurances (known as 'insurtechs') specialize in cost-savvy travel insurance to the UK and other countries worldwide. Our list below explores the four services we believe provide the best deals for young travellers, adventurers, everyday holidaymakers looking for comprehensive but affordable coverage, and longer-term expats.

UK Insurance Profile

Here are a few of the many factors influencing the scope and cost of travel insurances for the UK:

Best Travel Insurances for the UK

  • 01. Should I get travel insurance for the UK? scroll down
  • 02. Best medical coverage: VisitorsCoverage scroll down
  • 03. Best trip insurance: Insured Nomads scroll down
  • 04. Best mix for youth and digitial nomads: SafetyWing scroll down
  • 05. FAQ about travel insurance to the UK scroll down

Heading to the UK soon? Don't forget to check the following list before you travel:

  • 💳 Eager to dodge high FX fees? See our picks for the best travel cards in 2024.
  • 🛂 Need a visa? Let iVisa take care of it for you.
  • ✈ Looking for flights? Compare on Skyscanner !
  • 💬 Want to learn the local language? Babbel and italki are two excellent apps to think about.
  • 💻 Want a VPN? ExpressVPN is the market leader for anonymous and secure browsing.

Do I Need Travel Insurance for the UK?

No, there's currently no legal requirement to take out travel insurance for travel to or through the UK.

However, regardless of whether or not it's legally required, it's always a good idea to take our health insurance before you travel — whether to the United Kingdom or anywhere else. For what's usually an affordable cost , taking out travel insurance will mitigate most or all of the risk of financial damage if you run into any unexpected troubles during your trip abroad. Take a look at the top five reasons to get travel insurance to learn more.

With that said, here are the top three travel insurances for the UK:

VisitorsCoverage: Best Medical Coverage

Among the internet's best-known insurance platforms,  VisitorsCoverage  is a pioneering Silicon Valley insurtech company that offers comprehensive medical coverage for travellers going abroad to the UK. It lets you choose between various plans tailored to meet the specific needs of your trip to the UK, including coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and travel disruptions. With its easy online purchase process and 24/7 live chat support, VisitorsCoverage is a reliable and convenient option if you want good value and peace of mind while travelling abroad.

Get a quote 🡪

  • Coverage 9.0
  • Quality of Service 9.0
  • Pricing 7.6
  • Credibility 9.5

VisitorsCoverage offers a large variety of policies and depending on your needs and preferences, you'll need to compare and explore their full catalogue of plans for yourself. However, we've chosen a few highlights for their travel insurance for the UK:

  • Policy names: Varies
  • Medical coverage: Very good. Includes coverage for doctor and hospital visits, pre-existing conditions, repatriation, mental health-related conditions, and many others.
  • Trip coverage: Excellent - but only available for US residents.
  • Customer support: FAQ, live chat and phone support
  • Pricing range: USD 25 to USD 150 /traveller /month
  • Insurance underwriter: Lloyd's, Petersen, and others
  • Best for: Value for money and overall medical coverage

Insured Nomads: Best Trip Coverage

Insured Nomads is another very good travel insurance option, especially if you're adventurous or frequently on the go and are looking for solid trip insurance with some coverage for medical incidents too. With Insured Nomads, you can choose the level of protection that best suits your needs and enjoy a wide range of benefits, including 24/7 assistance, coverage for risky activities and adventure sports, and the ability to add or remove coverage as needed. In addition, Insured Nomads has a reputation for providing fast and efficient claims service, making it an excellent choice if you want peace of mind while exploring the world.

Get a quote 🡪

  • Coverage 7.8
  • Quality of Service 8.5
  • Pricing 7.4
  • Credibility 8.8

Insured Nomads offers three travel insurance policies depending on your needs and preferences. We go through them below:

  • Policy names: World Explorer, World Explorer Multi, World Explorer Guardian
  • Medical coverage: Good. Includes coverage for doctor and hospital visits, pre-existing conditions, repatriation, and many others.
  • Trip coverage: Good. Includes coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, lost or stolen luggage (with limits), adventure and sports activities, and many others.
  • Customer support: FAQ, live chat, phone support
  • Pricing range: USD 80 to USD 420 /traveller /month
  • Insurance underwriter: David Shield Insurance Company Ltd.
  • Best for: Adventure seekers wanting comprehensive trip insurance

SafetyWing: Best Combination For Youth

SafetyWing is a good insurance option for younger travellers or digital nomads because it offers flexible but comprehensive coverage at a famously affordable price. With SafetyWing, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing you're covered for unexpected medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. In addition, SafetyWing's user-friendly website lets you manage your policy, file a claim, and access 24/7 assistance from anywhere in the world, and, unlike VisitorsCoverage, you can even purchase a policy retroactively (e.g. during a holiday)!

Get a quote 🡪

  • Coverage 7.0
  • Quality of Service 8.0
  • Pricing 6.3
  • Credibility 7.3

SafetyWing offers two travel insurance policies depending on your needs and preferences, which we've highlighted below:

  • Policy names: Nomad Insurance, Remote Health
  • Medical coverage: Decent. Includes coverage for doctor and hospital visits, repatriation, and many others.
  • Trip coverage: Decent. Includes attractive coverage for lost or stolen belongings, adventure and sports activities, transport cancellation, and many others.
  • Pricing range: USD 45 to USD 160 /traveller /month
  • Insurance underwriter: Tokyo Marine HCC
  • Best for: Digital nomads, youth, long-term travellers

How Do They Compare?

Interested to see how VisitorsCoverage, SafetyWing, and Insured Nomads compare as travel insurances to the UK? Take a look at the side-by-side chart below:

Data correct as of 4/1/2024

FAQ About Travel Insurance to the United Kingdom

Travel insurance typically covers trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost or stolen luggage, travel delay, and emergency evacuation. Some travel insurance packages also cover medical-related incidents too. However, remember that the exact coverage depends on the insurance policy.

No, you'll not be required to take out travel insurance for the UK. However, we strongly encourage you to do so anyway, because the cost of healthcare in the UK can be high, and taking out travel insurance will mitigate some or all of the risk of covering those costs yourself if you need medical attention during your stay.

Yes, medical travel insurance is almost always worth it, and we recommend taking out travel insurance whenever visiting a foreign country. Taking out travel insurance will mitigate some or all of the risk of covering those costs yourself in case you need medical attention during your stay. In general, we recommend VisitorsCoverage to travellers worldwide because it offers excellent value for money and well-rounded travel and medical benefits in its large catalogue of plans.

Health insurance doesn't cover normal holiday expenses, such as coverage for missed flights and hotels, but in case you run into medical trouble while abroad, it may cover some or all of your doctor or hospital expenses while overseas. However, not all health insurance providers and plans offer coverage to customers while abroad, and that's why it's generally best to take out travel insurance whenever you travel.

Although there's overlap, health and travel insurance are not exactly the same. Health insurance covers some or all of the cost of medical expenses (e.g. emergency treatment, doctor's visits, etc.) while travel insurance covers non-medical costs that are commonly associated with travelling (e.g. coverage for missed flights, stolen or lost personal belongings, etc.).

The cost of travel insurance depends on several factors, such as the length of the trip, the destination, the age of the traveller, and the level of coverage desired. On average, travel insurance can cost anywhere between 3% and 10% of the total cost of the trip.

A single-trip travel insurance policy covers a specific trip, while an annual one covers multiple trips taken within a one-year period. An annual policy may be more cost-effective for frequent travellers.

Yes, you can sometimes purchase travel insurance after starting your trip, but it is best to buy it before the trip begins to ensure maximum coverage. If you do need to buy insurance after you've started your trip, we recommend VisitorsCoverage , which offers a wide catalogue of online trip and medical insurance policies, most of which can be booked with immediate effect. Check out our guide to buying travel insurance late to learn more.

Yes, you can most certainly purchase travel insurance for a trip that has already been booked, although we recommend purchasing insurance as soon as possible aftwerwards to ensure all coverage is in place before your journey begins. Check out our guide to buying travel insurance late to learn more.

See Our Other Travel Insurance Guides

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See our recommendations for travel insurance to other countries worldwide:

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HelloSafe » Travel Insurance » What Are The Best Travel Insurance Companies?

What Are The Best Travel Insurance Companies?

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Table of Contents

The COVID-19 cover doesn't protect you against any cancellation or travel disruption costs related to COVID-19 if you travel against FCO advice . You must have a positive COVID-19 NHS test certificate. To check latest FCO updates on travel destination exempt from 'all but essential' mention, check our map .

You're about to leave UK for a super exciting trip in Europe or worldwide and travel insurance is the least interesting thing about your coming holidays?

But did you know that 1 Brit out of 5 has, at some point, needed medical care abroad?

Take as granted that we absolutely never know what may happen and that bad things do not only happen to others...

Travel insurance is nothing but one of the highest insurance product in terms of value for money. For as cheap as £1/day, you could travel with complete peace of mind and get some deserved rest. Stay tuned!

Consult our trusted travel insurance providers

top ten travel insurance uk

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance covers you in case something unexpected happens while you are travelling abroad.

That could be anything: medical or repatriation expenses, trip cancellation expenses, baggage loss, personal liability problem etc. while you are travelling abroad.

You will need to carefully choose your travel insurance depending on:

  • the destination of your trip;
  • the duration of it;
  • the nature of your stay abroad (vacation, professional, WHV, etc.).

Insurance coverage must be valid for the entire duration of your stay abroad.

Why do I need travel insurance?

You are not protected from any accident or illness that could go so far as your repatriation to the UK. There are many examples: infections, transport accidents, loss or theft of luggage. Bad things not only happen to others and can represent significant expenses if you are not properly covered.

Travel insurance is a combination of two components:

  • The insurance component: compensation part, for example the advance or reimbursement of fees caused by an accident, illness, damage caused to third parties, etc.
  • The assistance component : assistance or support when you find yourself in a complicated situation (repatriation, loss or theft of your luggage, legal fees).

In addition, you must know that you will not, abroad, have your usual landmarks and won't necessarily know where to go and who to contact in case something goes wrong. We therefore strongly advise you to apply for travel insurance whatever the kind of trip you are planning.

Abroad, medical and hospital costs are often much more expensive than in UK, especially in the USA, Canada and in some asian countries. In USA, hospital treatment and stay for a stomach illness may cost you around £100,000.

What does travel insurance cover?

Each travel insurance policy is different, since it is the insurer who determines the contract's content: guarantees, compensation limits, deductibles, travel insurance prices, etc.

However, all contracts on the market must include at least the following guarantees:

  • Medical expenses: compensation by the insurer for your health expenses during your stay (consultation, analysis, emergency treatment, longer hospital stay, etc.).
  • Repatriation assistance to the UK : financial and logistical support by a dedicated 24/7 team for your early return to your country of residence if it proves necessary.
  • Trip cancellation and cover for delayed or missed departure: compensation if you need to cancel your trip for whatever reason or if you missed your departure.
  • Personal liability: compensation for any damage or injury made to a third-party (consider adding it as extra if not included in standard cover).
  • Baggage: compensation for any lost or theft of baggage while travelling (consider adding it as extra if not included in standard cover).

Good to know

Most of the time, travel insurers offer different formulas from the most basic to the most premium ones (check out our reviews by providers). Cover types involved are usually the same, but the compensation limits and deductibles vary.

Our advices on travel insurance limits you should get

You may additionally have other features included such as:

  • money and cash protection
  • loss of passport or official documents
  • dental emergency.

You can also apply to upgrades depending on the kind of trip you're doing such as:

  • cruise cover
  • gadget cover
  • winter or any extreme sport protection etc.

Is holiday insurance compulsory?

Most of the time, travel insurance is not a legal requirement.

However, you will need to show proof of travel insurance to get your visa for some countries. You'll find out whether you need a visa or not, as a british resident, in our review per country.

Check out our advices per destination

top ten travel insurance uk

What are the different types of travel insurance?

Whether you are travelling alone, with your partner or family, whether you are planning a short trip or 6 months holidays, you will need to choose the right travel. Let's find out what travel insurances types of cover are available.

Single trip insurance

These travel insurance policies are for one-off holidays. You will be covered from the start of the journey until the end. You can decide the number of days you want to be covered for.

Annual multi-trip cover

These policies are made for frequent travelers going away for holidays, business trips or for any other reason several times a year.

Backpackers insurance

These plans are made for students or any british resident who wants to explore the world, including for backpacking, gap year trips or for any other long stay reason.

You would need to check whether it is more competitive to buy two or three single trip insurance policies or an annual multi-trip policy.

Family travel insurance

Family travel insurances aim to cover members of a family travelling together abroad. Family travel insurance is particularly important as family trips represent, in most of the cases, significant budgets.

Couple travel insurance

Couple travel insurance (also joint travel insurance) covers you and your partner for any unexpected costs you may have to face abroad. Protect your beloved partner and find out which are the best insurers.

Group travel insurances

A comprehensive group travel insurance covers you and any member of the group instead of buying individual policy, often more expensive.

As a group or a family, you can often benefit from very interesting discounts while purchasing travel insurance online.

Can I get sports travel insurances?

Of course, and you must!

You must get covered in case you get injured while doing sports.

Most insurers cover some sport practices as standard. But in most of the cases, winter sports and golf have to be added on top of your basic contract at an extra charge (you will get the exact cover details for each insurers in our reviews by providers ).

Winter sports insurance

You are crazy about ski and you are about to plan ski holidays to practice your favorite sport? You would like to find travel insurance that is tailored for your activity in case something goes wrong? Check out our guide.

You are going on a golf break in France? You should definitely get golf travel insurance. Golf holiday insurance is not exactly the same as standard travel insurance as it is tailored for your needs as a recurrent golfer.

However, for extreme and hazardous sports such as rock climbing , scuba diving etc. you will, in most of the cases, need to purchase specific travel insurance or you will not be covered in case something happens.

How much does travel insurance cost?

The cost of travel insurance depends on a range of factors. It is now possible to tailor your travel insurance and avoid paying for guarantees that you do not need.

*Single trip quotes are for a single traveler of 30 years old and for a 7 days trip / Family trip quotes are for 2 young parents of around 35 and 2 children of 6 and 4 .

The insurance provider determines the cost of travel policies based on the following criteria:

  • The type of trip : the nature and purpose of your stay will have a significant impact on the final premium you'll have to pay (single or annual trip, gap year, backpackers).
  • The duration of your trip : depending on whether you are leaving for 3 days or whether you need travel insurance for a trip around the world, the insurer will apply different price grids.
  • The destination of your stay : medical expenses are for instance much more expensive in the USA and will therefore lead to an increase of your insurance premium.
  • Your age and medical record : health risks increase with age. This affects the price of the contract.
  • Insured persons: as a general rule, your spouse and your dependent children are also fiscally insured, but make sure to read the small prints of your travel insurance policy.

How do I get quote for travel insurance online?

Nothing simpler. Just use the comparison platform above and click on the offer you'd like to purchase. You will be redirected to the insurer's website and be able to purchase your policy online.

A travel insurance contract can now be fully subscribed online in a few clicks, after filling out a questionnaire and providing the requested documents. Administrative formalities are considerably reduced compared to a "traditional" subscription with an insurer and the cost is very often much lower. You pay the premium online.

Coverage is therefore almost immediate. You will obtain your provisional certificate by email immediately after subscription as well as in some cases, a paper version at the address indicated, as well as the contract. The certificate will be the proof of your coverage and may be attached to your request for a quote, especially when it is mandatory if you are traveling to China, Russia, Algeria or Cuba.

You can also purchase travel insurance at your travel agency, the airline you're travelling with or the tour operator, and even banking establishments.

Don't forget to get your certificate while travelling in case any unexpected event occurs (fingers crossed)!

What should you pay attention to while comparing travel insurances?

Depending on your stay abroad and your profile, our holiday insurance comparison will guide you through the most suitable contracts.

It also gives you all the information you may need to make the right choice. It is then up to you to compare the proposed policies according to your real needs abroad and the criteria that matter to you. Here are 4 points to be particularly attentive to:

  • Price : everyone is looking for cheap travel insurance. That said, taking out a policy with the price for consideration alone is a bad idea. The question of the premium is central, but should not be the only criteria involved.
  • Additional guarantees : the same offers are often offered, namely compensation for medical and hospital expenses, repatriation assistance and civil liability abroad. But you should also look into the issue of additional guarantees, useful in the event of an unexpected event: luggage guarantee, travel cancellation insurance.
  • Compensation limits : each insurer sets its own compensation limits and these maximum amounts are to be considered, especially if you leave the Schengen area and go to the USA or Canada where health costs are very expensive.
  • Exclusions : again, remember to consult the exclusions provided for in the contract in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. Note that legally, any exclusion must necessarily be entered in the general conditions of the insurance policy.

Do I have travel insurance with my credit card?

Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card holders usually have overseas coverage included, often mistakenly associated with travel insurance.

In order to benefit from this, the bearer must have paid for the entire trip with his card.

Also note that the coverage provided by these credit card agreements is much less extensive than that of a dedicated contract taken out with an insurer, and it only concerns stays abroad of less than 3 months.

Holders of a high-end bank card (prime visa, for example) are better off with higher compensation limits. In general, repatriation assistance, civil liability abroad, death / disability insurance and medical care are included (with compensation ceilings generally lower than those of travel insurance contracts).

Can I get travel insurance if I have pre-existing medical conditions?

Yes you can. But your health record will have an impact on your insurance premium. This is not a reason not to tell your insurer about your pre-existing medical condition. Not declaring it will invalidate any claim you could make and could even invalidate your entire travel policy.

Check out our advices per medical condition .

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications. In this sense, his role leads him to carry out steering and support work with all HelloSafe editors and contributors so that the editorial line defined by the company is fully respected. and declined through the texts published daily on our platforms. As such, Alexandre is responsible for implementing and maintaining the strictest journalistic standards within the HelloSafe editorial staff, in order to guarantee the most accurate, up-to-date information on our platforms. and expert as possible. Alexandre has in particular undertaken for two years now the implementation of a system of systematic double-checking of all the articles published within the HelloSafe ecosystem, able to guarantee the highest quality of information.

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United Kingdom Travel Insurance

What should your travel insurance cover for a trip to the united kingdom, how does travel insurance work in the uk, do i need travel insurance for the united kingdom, how much does travel insurance cost for the united kingdom, our suggested axa travel protection plan , traveling with pre-existing medical conditions , does the uk have any covid-19 restrictions for u.s. visitors, do you need car insurance to drive in the uk, are there any other requirements for traveling to the uk.

At a minimum, your travel insurance should cover trip cancellation, trip interruption and emergency medical expenses. When it comes to international travel, the US Department of State outlines key components that should be included in your travel insurance coverage.  AXA Travel Protection plans are designed with these minimum recommended coverages in mind. 

  • Medical Coverage   – The top priority is making sure your health is in order. With AXA Travel Protection, you can have access to quality healthcare during your trip overseas in the event of unexpected medical emergencies.    
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruptions  – Assistance against unexpected trip disruptions can dampen the mood, AXA Travel Protection offers coverage against unforeseen events.   
  • Emergency Evacuations and Repatriation   – In situations where transportation is dire, AXA Travel Protection offers provisions for emergency evacuation and repatriation.   
  • Coverage for Personal Belongings  – AXA offers coverage for your belongings with assistance against lost or delayed baggage.   
  • Optional Cancel for Any Reason  – For added flexibility, AXA offers optional Cancel for Any Reason coverage, allowing you to cancel your trip for non-traditional reasons.  Exclusive to Platinum Plan holders. 

In just a few seconds, you can get a free quote and purchase the best travel insurance for the United Kingdom.

Picture this: You've planned a scenic road trip through the Scottish Highlands, a land of misty glens and ancient castles. You stumble upon the enchanting Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye. Imagine, a misstep on the slippery terrain, and suddenly you've got a sprained ankle, not the souvenir you had in mind. With AXA Travel Protection, you receive access to our 24/7 emergency hotline.  Speak to a licensed multilingual travel assistance agent, they can help assist and direct emergency transportation if necessary to your location. With an AXA Travel Protection plan, we are here to assist and support you whenever and wherever you may be. Here’s the entire list of benefits travelers can have access to with an AXA Travel Protection Plan:

Medical Benefits: 

  • Emergency Medical Expenses: Should you fall ill or have an accident during your trip, your policy may offer coverage for medical expenses, including hospital stays and doctor's fees. 
  • Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation: In case of a serious medical emergency, your policy may include provisions for evacuation to the nearest appropriate medical facility or repatriation. 
  • Non-Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation : In non-medical crises (e.g., political unrest), your policy may cover evacuation or repatriation, subject to policy terms. 

Baggage Benefits: 

  • Luggage Delay: If the airline delays your checked baggage, your policy might offer reimbursement for essential items like clothing and toiletries. 
  • Lost or Stolen Luggage: In the unfortunate event of permanent loss or theft of your luggage, your policy may offer reimbursement for its value, assisting you in replacing your belongings. 

Pre-Departure Travel Benefits: 

  • Trip Cancellation: You may be eligible for reimbursement if you cancel your trip due to a sudden illness or injury. 
  • COVID-19 Travel Insurance: Coverage is available for trip cancellation and medical expenses related to COVID-19, subject to policy terms and conditions. 
  • Trip Delay: If your flight faces delays due to unforeseen circumstances, you may have coverage for additional expenses such as meals and accommodations. 

Post-Departure Travel Benefits

  • Trip Interruption: In case of an unexpected event, you could be eligible for reimbursement for the unused portion of your trip.
  • Missed Connection: If you miss a connecting flight due to delays or cancellations, this coverage may help with expenses like rebooking fees and accommodations.

Additional Optional Travel Benefits:  

  • Rental Car (Collision Damage Waiver): Exclusive to Gold & Platinum plan policy holders, this optional benefit gives travelers extra coverage on their rental car against damage and theft. 
  • Cancel for Any Reason: Exclusive to Platinum plan policy holders; this optional benefit gives travelers more flexibility to cancel their trip for any reason outside of their standard policy. 
  • Loss Skier Days: Exclusive to Platinum plan policy holders, this optional benefit offers reimbursement to mitigate some costs associated with pre-paid ski tickets that you or your traveling companion cannot use due to specified slope closures. 
  • Loss Golf Days: Exclusive to Platinum plan policy holders, this optional benefit offers reimbursement to mitigate the expenses linked to prepaid golf arrangements that you or your travel companion are unable to utilize due to specified golf closures. 

Americans aren't required to purchase domestic or international travel insurance to visit the United Kingdom. But it’s still highly recommended that you have a travel insurance plan before embarking on your next trip. 

Why? There are several reasons:

Medical Emergencies: Your health is a top priority. If you face a sudden illness or injury in New York, travel insurance offers the means to receive prompt and quality medical care.

Lost Baggage: Airlines sometimes mishandle baggage, and the last thing you want is to be without your essentials in an unfamiliar place. Travel insurance offers to cover the cost of replacing necessary items, allowing you to continue on.

Flight Delays: Travel disruptions like flight delays can happen. If you miss a connecting flight or incur additional expenses due to delays, travel insurance can help cover the costs.

In general, travel insurance to the United Kingdom costs about 3 – 10% of your total prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses. The cost of travel insurance depends on two factors for AXA Travel Protection plans: 

  • Total Trip cost:  The total non-prepaid and non-refundable costs you have already paid for your upcoming trip. This includes prepaid excursions, plane tickets, cruise costs, etc. 
  • Age:  Like any other insurance type, the correlation is rooted in increased health risks associated with older individuals. It's important to note that this doesn't make travel insurance unattainable for older individuals. 

With AXA Travel Protection, travelers to the United Kingdom will be offered three tiers of insurance:  Silver,   Gold  and  Platinum . Each provides varying levels of coverage to cater to individual's preferences and travel needs. 

AXA presents travelers with three travel plans – the  Silver Plan ,  Gold Plan , and  Platinum Plan , each offering different levels of coverage to suit individual needs. Given that United Kingdom hospitals often do not accept U.S. health insurance or Medicare, we genuinely recommend travelers consider purchasing any of these plans, particularly for the crucial coverage they offer for emergency accident and sickness medical expenses.  

The Platinum Plan  is your go-to choice if you're looking for extra coverage aligned with the United Kingdom experience. " Cancel for Any Reason " offers greater flexibility for those unexpected twists in your travel plans and the " Rental Car (Collision Damage Waiver) " offers assistance when you're out exploring the United Kingdom's stunning landscapes in a rental car. 

Additionally, part of the Platinum Plan is the " Lost Skier Days " benefit, offering potential reimbursement if ski resorts unexpectedly close due to ever-changing snow conditions. These perks make the Platinum Plan an excellent option for anyone seeking comprehensive protection during their exciting United Kingdom adventures. 

Traveling with pre-existing medical conditions can complicate your plans, but with AXA Travel Protection, we're here to support you during your trip.   Our Gold and Platinum  plans offer coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.  The Platinum plan, in particular, is our highest-offered choice for travelers who want our highest coverage limits and optional add-ons, 

What does this mean for you? If you've got a medical condition hanging around, you can qualify for coverage under our Gold and Platinum plan with a pre-existing medical condition , so long as it’s within 14 days of placing your initial trip deposit and in our 60-day look-back period. We're here to ensure you travel easily, no matter your health situation. 

American visitors can breathe a sigh of relief that the UK no longer has any COVID-19 restrictions for visitors coming from the United States. You do not need to fret over getting a COVID test or submit proof of vaccination upon arrival in the UK. 

It’s illegal to drive in the UK without vehicle insurance. This also applies to those driving on an international license, even if it’s only for a brief period. If you are renting a car, however, we strongly recommend you purchase rental car insurance. AXA Travel Protection can help you with that by offering Rental Car Insurance (Collision Damage Waiver.)  This coverage provides extra coverage for your rental car against damage and theft.

American citizens are considered non-visa nationals in the UK. Therefore, they neither require a visa (for short-term travel) nor need to fulfill any other conditions to visit and travel across the UK.

UK Travel Insurance FAQs

1. can you buy travel insurance after booking a flight.

It's advisable to purchase travel insurance for your trip as soon as you have made your initial trip deposit (prepaid and non-refundable trip costs.) 

AXA Travel Protection offers coverage as soon as you purchase your protection plan. We can give coverage against unforeseen events before you leave for your trip. Additionally, our policies offer coverage for preexisting medical conditions and Cancel for Any Reason if you purchase your protection within 14 days of making your initial trip deposit.

2. Do Americans need travel insurance for the UK?

UK law doesn’t require U.S. citizens visiting the UK for a short time (up to six months) to carry travel insurance. However, carrying international travel insurance for the United Kingdom for unforeseen events is a good idea.

3. What is needed to visit the United Kingdom from the USA?

U.S. citizens only need a passport and a ticket to travel to the UK. The passport must have at least one empty page and validity for the duration of your trip.

4. What happens if a tourist gets sick in the United Kingdom?

The UK has a National Health System (NHS) that provides medical care nationwide.  If a tourist gets sick in the UK, they can get medical care from an NHS center.  However, it’s important to note that while the NHS services are free for the locals, tourists are charged about 150 percent of the cost of their treatment.

Disclaimer: It is important to note that Destination articles are for editorial purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified professional. Specifics of travel coverage for your destination will depend on the plan selected, the date of purchase, and the state of residency. Customers are advised to carefully review the terms and conditions of their policy. Contact AXA Travel Insurance if you have any questions.  AXA Assistance USA, Inc.© 2023 All Rights Reserved.  

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Top 10 Travel Insurance Companies in the United Kingdom

Traveling is an exciting adventure, but it’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected. One of the best ways to ensure peace of mind while traveling is by investing in a reliable travel insurance policy. With numerous options available, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your needs. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 travel insurance companies in the United Kingdom, highlighting their features, coverage options, and benefits.

1. Allianz Assistance UK

Overview: Allianz Assistance UK is a leading provider of travel insurance known for its comprehensive coverage and excellent customer service. Whether you’re planning a relaxing beach holiday or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, Allianz Assistance UK has a policy to suit your needs.

Coverage options: Their travel insurance plans include coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellation, baggage protection, and more. Additionally, they offer 24/7 emergency assistance to ensure you’re supported wherever you are in the world.

Website: Allianz Assistance UK

2. Aviva Travel Insurance

Overview: Aviva offers a range of travel insurance options tailored to different needs, making them a popular choice among travelers. Whether you’re embarking on a single trip, planning multiple vacations throughout the year, or traveling with your family, Aviva has you covered.

Types of coverage offered: Their policies include protection for medical emergencies, trip cancellation, lost or stolen belongings, and more. With flexible options and competitive prices, Aviva makes it easy to find the right coverage for your travels.

Website: Aviva Travel Insurance

3. AXA Travel Insurance

Overview: AXA UK is another reputable provider of travel insurance known for its reliable coverage and customizable options. Whether you’re hitting the slopes for a skiing holiday or jetting off on a business trip, AXA has a policy to meet your specific needs.

Additional coverage options: In addition to standard travel insurance benefits, AXA offers options for additional coverage such as winter sports, golf, and business trips. This ensures you’re protected no matter what activities you have planned during your travels.

Website: AXA Travel Insurance

4. Direct Line Travel Insurance

Overview: Direct Line provides various levels of travel insurance cover to suit different budgets and travel requirements. Whether you’re looking for basic coverage or comprehensive protection, Direct Line has a policy that fits your needs.

Policy options: Their travel insurance plans include options for individual, couple, or family policies, allowing you to tailor your coverage to your specific circumstances. With straightforward policies and competitive prices, Direct Line makes it easy to protect your travels.

Website: Direct Line Travel Insurance

5. LV= Travel Insurance

Overview: LV= offers travel insurance with different levels of cover to suit various budgets and travel requirements. Whether you’re planning a short city break or an extended backpacking adventure, LV= has a policy to meet your needs.

Range of cover options: Their travel insurance plans include options for medical expenses, trip cancellation, baggage protection, and more. With flexible coverage levels and optional add-ons, LV= allows you to customize your policy to suit your individual requirements.

Website: LV= Travel Insurance

6. Post Office Travel Insurance

Overview: Post Office provides travel insurance with options for single trip, annual multi-trip, and backpacker cover. With affordable prices and comprehensive coverage, Post Office is a popular choice among budget-conscious travelers.

Types of policies available: Their travel insurance plans include coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellation, lost or stolen belongings, and more. Additionally, they offer optional extras such as winter sports cover for those seeking additional protection.

Website: Post Office Travel Insurance

7. Saga Travel Insurance

Overview: Saga specializes in travel insurance for people over 50, offering tailored cover for older travelers. With extensive experience in the insurance industry, Saga understands the unique needs of mature travelers and provides comprehensive coverage to meet their requirements.

Specialization in over 50s travel insurance: Their travel insurance plans include coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, trip cancellation, baggage protection, and more. Additionally, Saga offers 24/7 emergency assistance to ensure their customers receive the support they need while traveling.

Website: Saga Travel Insurance

8. Staysure Travel Insurance

Overview: Staysure offers travel insurance with comprehensive coverage, including medical expenses, trip cancellation, and baggage protection. With policies designed for travelers of all ages and backgrounds, Staysure is a trusted choice for those seeking reliable protection for their travels.

Comprehensive coverage details: Their travel insurance plans include coverage for a wide range of eventualities, ensuring you’re protected against unexpected expenses and emergencies while traveling. Additionally, Staysure offers optional extras such as golf and cruise cover for those with specific requirements.

Website: Staysure Travel Insurance

9. Travel Insurance Facilities Group (TIFG)

Overview: Travel Insurance Facilities Group (TIFG) offers a diverse range of travel insurance products to cater to different travel needs. Whether you’re planning a standard vacation, embarking on an adventurous backpacking trip, or engaging in high-risk activities, TIFG has a policy to suit your requirements.

Product offerings: Their travel insurance products include standard cover for typical vacations, backpacker insurance for extended trips, and specialist policies for adventure sports enthusiasts. TIFG understands the unique needs of different travelers and provides tailored coverage to ensure peace of mind on your journeys.

Website: Travel Insurance Facilities Group

10. Virgin Money Travel Insurance

Overview: Virgin Money is a trusted name in the financial industry, and their travel insurance offerings are no exception. With flexible policy options and comprehensive coverage, Virgin Money provides peace of mind for travelers of all types.

Coverage options: Their travel insurance plans include options for single trip, annual multi-trip, and cruise cover, as well as optional add-ons such as gadget and winter sports cover. Virgin Money makes it easy to customize your policy to suit your specific needs and preferences.

Website: Virgin Money Travel Insurance

Comparison of Top 10 Travel Insurance Companies in the UK

When choosing a travel insurance provider, it’s essential to compare the key features and benefits offered by each company. Here’s a brief comparison of the top 10 travel insurance companies in the United Kingdom:

  • Coverage Options: Allianz Assistance UK, Aviva, and AXA UK offer comprehensive coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellation, and baggage protection. Direct Line and LV= also provide a range of coverage options to suit different needs.
  • Specialization: Saga specializes in travel insurance for people over 50, while Staysure offers comprehensive coverage for travelers of all ages. Travel Insurance Facilities Group (TIFG) caters to a diverse range of travel needs, including standard vacations and adventure sports trips.
  • Flexibility: Post Office and Virgin Money offer flexible policy options, including single trip, annual multi-trip, and optional add-ons for additional coverage.
  • Customer Service: Allianz Assistance UK, Aviva, and AXA UK are known for their excellent customer service and 24/7 emergency assistance.
  • Affordability: Direct Line and Post Office are popular choices for budget-conscious travelers due to their competitive prices and comprehensive coverage options.

Tips for Choosing the Right Travel Insurance Company

When selecting a travel insurance provider, consider the following factors to ensure you choose the right policy for your needs:

  • Coverage: Review the coverage options offered by each company to ensure they meet your specific requirements, including medical expenses, trip cancellation, and baggage protection.
  • Cost: Compare prices from different providers to find a policy that offers value for money without compromising on coverage.
  • Customer Service: Research the reputation of each company for customer service and emergency assistance, as this can be crucial in the event of a travel emergency.
  • Policy Exclusions: Read the policy terms and conditions carefully to understand any exclusions or limitations that may affect your coverage, such as pre-existing medical conditions or high-risk activities.
  • Reviews and Recommendations: Read reviews from other travelers and seek recommendations from friends and family to find a reputable and reliable travel insurance provider.

Importance of Reading Policy Terms and Conditions

Before purchasing a travel insurance policy, it’s essential to read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure you understand what is and isn’t covered. Here are a few reasons why reading the policy fine print is important:

  • Understanding Coverage Limitations: Policy terms and conditions outline any limitations or exclusions that may apply to your coverage, such as pre-existing medical conditions or high-risk activities. By understanding these limitations upfront, you can avoid potential issues or disputes when making a claim.
  • Avoiding Potential Pitfalls: Failure to read the policy terms and conditions could lead to misunderstandings or unexpected expenses if you assume certain events are covered when they’re not. By familiarizing yourself with the policy details, you can make informed decisions about your coverage and avoid potential pitfalls during your travels.

Choosing the right travel insurance company is essential for ensuring peace of mind while traveling. Whether you’re planning a relaxing beach holiday, an adventurous backpacking trip, or a luxury cruise, having the right coverage in place can protect you from unexpected expenses and emergencies. By comparing the top 10 travel insurance companies in the United Kingdom and considering factors such as coverage options, cost, and customer service, you can find a policy that meets your needs and provides the protection you need for your travels.

1. Do I really need travel insurance? Yes, travel insurance is essential for protecting yourself against unexpected expenses and emergencies while traveling, including medical emergencies, trip cancellation, and lost or stolen belongings.

2. What does travel insurance typically cover? Travel insurance typically covers medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost or stolen belongings, and emergency assistance services. Coverage may vary depending on the policy and provider.

3. How much does travel insurance cost? The cost of travel insurance varies depending on factors such as the level of coverage, trip duration, destination, and your age and health status. It’s essential to compare quotes from different providers to find a policy that fits your budget.

4. Can I purchase travel insurance after booking my trip? Yes, you can purchase travel insurance after booking your trip, but it’s recommended to do so as soon as possible to ensure you’re covered for any unforeseen events that may arise before your departure.

5. What should I do if I need to make a claim on my travel insurance? If you need to make a claim on your travel insurance, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to report the incident and initiate the claims process. Be sure to provide any necessary documentation to support your claim, such as medical records or receipts for expenses incurred.

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top ten travel insurance uk

Eight holiday checks to make NOW as travel insurance complaints hit highest levels since the pandemic

  • Published : 0:01, 16 Jul 2024
  • Updated : 17:08, 15 Jul 2024
  • Published : Invalid Date,

TOURISTS have been told to make eight urgent holiday checks after travel insurance complaints reached their highest levels since the pandemic.

Complaints jumped by nearly a fifth (19%) annually in 2023/24 reaching 4,466, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

Holidaymakers advised to check travel insurance details before taking off this summer

The only time more complaints have been made was in 2020/21 – when gripes surged due to disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The FOS said the rise in complaints was driven by insurers refusing travellers claims.

Complaints included insurers rejecting claims due after arguing medical conditions had not being properly disclosed.

People were also unhappy with the levels of emergency assistance given after falling ill abroad.

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Other complaints included delayed or missed flights , as well as lost and stolen luggage.

Abby Thomas, chief executive and chief ombudsman at FOS, said: “With the holidays upon us, and millions of families heading overseas on their summer breaks, it’s crucial that people taking out travel insurance know what they are signing up to.

“It’s concerning to see so many people dissatisfied with their insurance provider. That’s why it’s so important firms take the time to explain terms, treat people fairly, and ensure everyone understands their policy.

“If people aren’t happy with how they have been treated they should contact our free, independent service and we’ll investigate.”

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The FOS said holidaymakers should make the following checks before going on holiday this summer:

1. Read the small print

Checking the policy terms and conditions carefully is important, including what medical history you need to tell your insurer about and what activities are covered under the policy.

2. Understand what is not covered

Most travel insurance policies specify the events which are insured under the policy and the general exclusions which apply to the policy.

Even if there is no specific exclusion it does not automatically mean you are covered, so check with your insurer.

3. Understand your medical cover

Travel insurance is not the same as private medical insurance.

Most policies require you to seek treatment in a public hospital.

The insurer may not pay for private treatment unless it is required, for example if there are no suitable public hospitals locally.

4. Medical condition disclosure

You may need to tell your travel insurer about medical conditions, even if you have fully recovered.

Check what your insurer needs to know about pre-existing medical conditions, otherwise, you may not be covered.

5. Return flights in an emergency

Your travel insurer may not agree to fly you back to the UK if you become unwell abroad.

The insurer will determine whether it is a medical necessity to fly you home.

The provider may ask you to get treatment abroad and wait until you are well enough to return.

6. Missed flights

Travel insurance may not cover missed flights caused by security delays, airport evacuations and/or problems with visas and passports.

Policies may only cover flights missed because of a specific list of insured events, such as failure of or delays to public transport, accident or breakdown of the vehicle the policy holder is travelling in, accident or breakdown of another vehicle on the motorway, strike , industrial action or adverse weather conditions.

7. Cancelling plans

If your circumstances change and you can no longer go on holiday, you may not necessarily be covered.

If you change your mind about travelling, your insurance may not cover you.

Cover will generally only be provided if a cancellation is caused by a specific insured event, and the insurer is generally entitled to require reasonable supporting evidence.

8. Lost luggage

Travel insurers will generally require a policyholder to obtain a property irregularity report from their airline while still at the airport and provide proof from their airline that the luggage cannot be located before considering a claim.

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is there to help you when something goes wrong with your holiday.

It can help cover your bills if your flights are cancelled, your luggage is lost, or you need medical help when travelling abroad.

The two main types of travel insurance are single and multi-trip cover.

There is also backpacking travel insurance which typically covers you for extended period to multiple destinations.

Which is best, single trip or annual travel insurance?

When you buy insurance, you will be asked if you want cover for a single trip or multi-trip.

It can get pricey if you keep buying insurance for several trips during one year.

For example, if you have two or three holidays in a year then it can often work out cheaper to take out annual multi-trip cover instead of a single policy for each time you travel.

Check how long you can be away for on each trip with an annual policy.

These policies will usually cover you for an unlimited number of trips but some insurers cap how long you can be away for, usually around 31 days.

Also check the policy terms of any annual travel insurance to ensure it covers the different places you are travelling to, and activities you may be doing.

What exactly does travel insurance cover me for?

Travel insurance can cover you for a range of situations, for example if your luggage has been stolen, you need to cancel your trip, or you need medical treatment while abroad.

Some policies may even cover you if your hotel has to close and you had to move accommodation, or if your flight was cancelled and you are unable to get your money back from the airline.

It may also provide protection if you have to cancel because of an illness, redundancy or a close family bereavement.

All policies have different inclusions and exclusions, so check the policy details thoroughly so you know what you are covered for before taking out a product.

What doesn’t travel insurance cover?

Check for exclusions in your policy but travel insurance essentially protects you against unforeseen circumstances.

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If you could have prevented a claim or knew about a situation at the time of booking, then you may not be covered.

Additionally, your cover may be invalidated if your claim is as a result of getting drunk or due to medical conditions that you hadn't disclosed.

What should you look for in a good travel insurance policy?

TRAVEL insurance policies can vary a great deal, but here are some "must have

  • Medical expenses - A good policy will give cover of £1million or more for travel in Europe and £2million or more for the USA
  • Repatriation service - The costs of getting you back to the UK for medical reasons should be covered automatically by your policy
  • Cancellation and curtailment - A good policy will cover you for £2,000 or more if you have to cancel or shorten your holiday
  • Missed departure - Covers additional accommodation costs and travel expenses up to £500 or more if you miss your flight due to circumstances out of your control
  • Delay - You'll usually be covered for £250 or more if your travel plans are delayed due to circumstances out of your control
  • Baggage cover - Covers you if your baggage is lost, damaged or stolen. Look for policies that have cover of £1,500 or more.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected] .

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Money blog: Tesco aiming to take customers from two rivals with Finest expansion

Welcome to the Money blog, your place for personal finance and consumer news and tips. Leave a comment with your thoughts below - or submit a Money Problem or consumer dispute, remembering to leave a contact number or email.

Tuesday 16 July 2024 07:02, UK

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Tesco is targeting customers from Waitrose and Marks & Spencer with plans to boost sales of its upmarket Finest own label range by £1bn.

Ken Murphy, the supermarket's CEO, said he was "very conscious" of the importance of a premium offering.

Sales of Finest items reached £2bn in the year to February 2023.

But Mr Murphy is now targeting a 50% increase. 

"We genuinely believe that our intrinsic [food] qualities are every bit as good as anything you would get at Sainsbury's and increasingly out of Waitrose," he told the Financial Times .

"[With] M&S we probably still have a bit of work to do."

The Finest range reached its quarter century last year, having launched in 1998.

Premium supermarket shopping is fiercely competitive at the moment - rising 12% in the year to 9 June, according to data group Kantar - despite surging food bills.

Waitrose last month relaunched its premium own label No.1, while M&S food division recently posted soaring annual sales

Elsewhere, Asda revealed its new Exceptional range in May and Sainsbury's has added to its premium offering.

At the discount end of the market, Lidl has had success with its Delux range. 

In his FT interview, Mr Murphy rejected the idea premium products could simply be standard products repackaged.

He says they are concocting new products at a development centre in Welwyn Garden City.

"If we can't satisfy ourselves that we're at least as good at them, ideally, better than them, the product doesn't make it."

Jamie Robinson, Tesco's executive chef, who used to work for Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White, said: "This is restaurant-quality now."

He said there had been "a massive step change in our product culture, from an innovation point of view".

Tesco has a 27.7% share of the UK grocery food market with sales of more than £60bn - and the Finest range is just over 3% of that.

Basically… bankruptcy is a legal status for someone who can't repay a debt they owe.

Someone who is declared bankrupt is not liable for most of their debts and doesn't have to pay them.

The legal proceeding, which can also be used by businesses, offers a fresh start for people who have gotten overwhelmed by their debt - but not without consequences.

So how can you go bankrupt - and how might it affect you in the future? We've broken down the basics here...

The bankruptcy process

Someone with a debt they can't afford to pay back anymore can apply to become bankrupt themselves.

The application itself is costly at £680. It can be filled out online.

An adjudicator with the Insolvency Service will then take a look at the application and decide whether to approve it. They've got up to four weeks to do this, but it doesn't usually take that long.

The person is made bankrupt on the day their application is approved, and their bank account is frozen immediately.

After this, someone called an official receiver will take control of the person's money and property. Following an interview with the bankruptee, they'll be responsible for using their assets to pay back creditors.

The process ends with the person being discharged from bankruptcy after a year - so long as they've cooperated with the official receiver.

How are assets used to pay debts?

If someone has valuable assets, such as a house, car, jewellery or any other item seen to be excessive in value, these are likely to be sold in order to pay down some of the debt they owe.

If the car isn't worth much or is deemed essential, they might not need to sell it.

Similarly, if the equity in their home is less than £1,000 they might be able to keep it. Someone might be ordered to downsize their property in order to raise the money needed.

Funds will first be spent on the fees and costs of the bankruptcy, then the creditors will receive the balance.

Possessions that people need for daily living, such as furniture, clothing, bedding, essential household equipment and work tools, won't be taken.

What debts are not covered by bankruptcy?

Even when declared bankrupt, there are certain debts that you will still have to pay.

These include:

  • Student loans
  • Maintenance payments and child support
  • Court fines
  • Any payments under a court confiscation order
  • Debts due to fraud
  • Any debts taken out after the bankruptcy order is made

How will bankruptcy affect me?

Though bankruptcy wipes most debts, it can affect many other aspects of life.

Aside from the potential loss of assets, the process can ruin a person's credit - and rebuilding it may take years. This could have a knock-on impact on other financial moves such as getting a mortgage, for example.

Energy or phone service providers might want someone to have a guarantor, security deposit or prepayment meter in place as financial security before taking out a contract with them.

Business owners who go bankrupt have to hand over the rights to their firm to the official receiver after going bankrupt - and may end up losing it. 

Bankruptcy can also make it harder to find a job in certain industries, such as the civil service or police, and an employer might place restrictions on someone's work as a result.

What options are available before bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy isn't the only option for people who are overwhelmed by their debts.

In England and Wales, the government's Breathing Space scheme offers borrowers temporary protection from lenders for up to two months while they get advice and make a plan.

There's also the option of speaking to a credit counselling service and coming up with a debt management plan, with them acting as a mediator with the lender.

An individual voluntary arrangement is another option - this is an agreement with the creditor that aims to pay back as much money as possible while still being fair to the person in debt.

Read other entries in our Basically series...

Spotfiy has discreetly introduced a cheaper plan that can save users up to £24 a year.

Its new "Basic" plan costs £1-£2 less a month than other subscriptions.

Users will need to forgo audiobooks, while still enjoying ad-free listening, downloads, high-quality audio and podcasts.

Most of Spotify's Premium plans (not including Student) currently include 15 hours of audiobook listening.

Current Spotify Premium members were all moved onto these plans automatically after price increases in April 2024.

The prices of these plans are: Individual Premium (£11.99 per month), Family Premium (£19.99 per month) and Duo (£16.99 per month).

The new Basic plan - only available to existing Premium subscribers - includes all the regular perks, but without the 15 hours of audiobooks.

The prices of these plans are: Individual Basic (£10.99 per month), Family Basic (£17.99 per month) and Duo Basic (£14.99 per month).

Student plans remain at £5.99 per month, and there is no Basic Student available currently.

To switch plans, log into Spotify via a browser (you can't use the app). Go to your Profile , then Account , Subscription and Available plans .

Find Basic option, select your plan and click Update subscription .

By James Sillars , business reporter 

A strong US stock market rally today is being described as a "Trump bounce".

Market commentators credited the prospect of a big sympathy vote for the former president-turned presidential hopeful after the failed assassination attempt at the weekend.

As such, investors were pricing in a greater chance of him winning a second term in November.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both hit new record highs as hopes grew for investor-friendly policies ahead, such as extended tax cuts and looser regulation.

Trump Media & Technology Group was one of the most actively traded shares.

They were up 34%.

On this side of the Atlantic, the FTSE 100 was on course to close about 0.8% down.

Burberry was the biggest faller, down 16%, following a weak trading update that prompted the luxury brand to cancel is dividend.

The Welsh government is considering restricting free refills of sugary soft drinks in restaurants - potentially impacting fans of Nando's, Five Guys, Pizza Hut and Popeyes.

It has launched a consultation in an attempt to encourage people to make "healthier choices".

Eluned Morgan, Labour cabinet secretary for health and social care, said more than 60% of the population is "living with obesity or overweight".

She is proposing a "package of measures to improve the health of our food environments across Wales".

It is proposed that retailers be prohibited from placing HFSS products (high in fat, salt and sugar), in areas such as aisle ends and checkout/queueing areas.

There could also be restrictions on promotions.

Restaurants would be exempt from price and location promotions, "except in the case of free refills of sugar-sweetened beverages".

It is being proposed that "failure to comply with an improvement notice" could result in the "option of issuing a fixed monetary penalty of £2,500".

Grandparents in Sweden are eligible for paid parental leave under a new law aimed at extending childcare benefits beyond children's immediate family.

The programme, launched at the start of this month, allows parents to transfer a portion of their parental leave days to other caretakers, including grandparents. 

The law enables single parents to transfer up to 90 days of paid leave to other caregivers and a parental couple to transfer up to 45 days, according to the Swedish government's Social Insurance Agency.  

This comes 50 years after the country became the first ever nation to introduce paid parental leave that could be split between both parents - and many countries, including the UK, copied.

Dozens of tonnes of fake olive oil worth more than €900,000 (£757,000) have been seized in Italy.

Authorities confiscated a total of 71 tonnes of the "oily substance", with 42 tonnes of it boxed and ready to be sold as Italian extra virgin olive oil, one of Italy's biggest national police forces said. 

Seven people were allegedly behind the counterfeit goods, with the Carabinieri accusing them of criminal conspiracy, adulteration of food substances intended for marketing, fraud in public military supplies and adulteration of food for export.

"During the operations, several boxes and warehouses used by the suspects were searched, seizing 71 tonnes of oily substance, contained in plastic tubs and cans of various sizes," it said . 

Equipment used for packaging and distribution, including 1,145 customs excise duty stamps and labels claiming the oil was "extra virgin", have also been taken by officers. 

The investigation comes as the price of olive oil continues to soar in the UK - the cost of a 500ml bottle has risen from £6.16 in May 2023 to £8.60, according to the latest data.

The Money team has previously found a bacterial disease, criminal gangs, changing weather patterns and Brexit have all played a part in the increases. 

You can read more about our olive oil investigation from earlier this year below...

By  Brad Young  and  Katie Williams , from the Money team

As we reported in our markets update below, the pound has held its recent gains against the dollar, with one pound buying $1.2982. It's also at a near two-year high against the euro - £1 equals €1.1912.

So, this could be the perfect time to buy your holiday money.

Recently, we spoke with three travel experts to find out when, where and how to pay abroad in order to make the most of your pound.

CREDIT CARD

"The  cheapest way to spend overseas is often on plastic , if you've got the right plastic," said James Jones, head of consumer affairs at Experian.

"Using credit and debit cards can be a great way to get the very best exchange rates."

He said rates offered by currency exchange shops are usually "much less attractive" than those offered on some cards, which were much closer to the rates the banks use themselves.

Fees could wipe out any gains

But it's essential to be aware of things like non-sterling transaction fees, cash withdrawal fees and credit card interest.

So shop around for a card with travel rewards, Mr Jones said - and do this before your trip.  

"You probably need to give yourself, ideally, six weeks."

Extra protection

When you book a trip between £100 and £30,000, try and pay for some of it on a credit card to get "extra protection" under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, said Mr Jones.

That means the card provider is jointly responsible with the retailer if something goes wrong, such as arriving at a hotel only to find it has closed down.

If you are using a credit card, make sure you are can pay it off in full to avoid interest charges, said Sean Tipton from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

One trap you must not falling into

An increasingly common trap when paying with card (credit or debit) is being presented with the option to pay in the local currency or in pounds, said Mr Jones and Mr Tipton.

While paying in sterling might "seem like a wonderful convenience" you will ultimately be paying "quite a bit more for the purchase", Mr Jones said.

If you pay in pounds, the local retailer's bank sets the exchange rate, but if you pay in the local currency, your UK bank sets the rate.

DEBIT CARDS

"Some service providers don't apply fees for overseas use on their regular UK debit cards," says Moneyfacts - but you must always check as some incur big fees.

Alternatively, "some service providers offer specialist travel debit cards that don't impose non-sterling transaction fees and cash withdrawal fees".

PREPAID TRAVEL CARDS

If you're looking to avoid a credit check, prepaid cards can be loaded with multiple currencies and work like a debit card, without being connected to your bank.

"Typically, prepaid travel cards will offer competitive or even no charges for foreign usage, which can make them a cheaper alternative to using a normal credit or debit card while on holiday," says MoneyFacts.

One of the most popular prepaid cards, Revolut, uses its own exchange rates, which might not always be the best you can find - and while it is fee free on weekdays, there are charges at weekends, so do your research.

Also be aware - prepaid cards do not offer purchase protection like a credit card and aren't regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

"Don't rely solely on a card - it can backfire on you if you do," said Mr Tipton.

Some taxis only take cash, leaving you to face hefty charges withdrawing from an ATM.

In some countries, like Argentina, it can be difficult to get money out of ATMs without a local bank account, Mr Tipton said.

Mr Jones added: "If you're in a very remote part of the world that actually doesn’t have many ATMs and maybe where cash is king, then that might dictate what you need to do."

Where and when to get cash

"I'd strongly recommend [to] get some cash out in the UK," said Mr Tipton.

It can be difficult to find a bureau de change in some developing nations, and ATMs have "started introducing quite hefty charges" across the board, he said.

The exceptions are countries with really high inflation rates, where it may make more sense to get cash out when you arrive, he added.

When to exchange currency really depends on the destination, said Laura Plunkett, head of travel money at the Post Office.

"Exchange rates change frequently, so if you have time, do your homework and lock in a rate when it is good."

What is a good exchange rate for Europe?

Some 80% of British holidays abroad take place in the Eurozone, said Mr Tipton.

The rate has remained "fairly stable", but if you see the pound increasing in value that may be the time to buy a larger amount of Euros for a couple of years in advance, he added.

Mr Tipton said 1.2 to the pound is a "pretty healthy" time to buy, but "it is a bit of a lottery".

Every year the pound gets stronger against the South African rand, and the same in Argentina, where the peso is "unbelievably weak", Mr Tipton suggested.

In store or online?

"Most online suppliers will insist on a minimum order value that might be too high for some people, and you'll have to make sure that you're home for when it's delivered," said Ms Plunkett.

"But typically, rates are better online if that's an option for you."

By Sarah Taaffe-Maguire , business reporter 

Burberry has ousted its chief executive and announced the appointment of a new CEO this morning. 

The move came as the luxury British fashion brand scrapped shareholder payments and reported a "disappointing" financial performance and a "more challenging than expected" business transition.

The company said it expected to make a loss in the first half of the year if current trends persist, as previously identified weakness had "deepened".

Taking up the reins is former Michael Kors boss Joshua Schulman.

Following the update, Burberry's share price was down 12.5%. 

The index Burberry is a constituent of, the FTSE 100, was down 0.4%, as was the larger FTSE 250 which comprises more UK companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. 

The price of oil, as measured by a barrel of Brent crude, is slightly lower than it has been for most of the past four weeks at $84.79 a barrel, but it is still above May and June prices. 

The pound has held its gains against the dollar, with one pound buying $1.2982. It's also at a near two-year high against the euro - £1 equals €1.1912.

After the assassination attempt on former president Donald Trump, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin enjoyed another steep rise, though is still below the all-time high reached in March.

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