Planning a staycation? Don’t forget travel cover

UK holidays in favour as 43% of holidaymakers say Brexit has made them more cautious about booking holidays

A woman takes a self portrait with her camera on an Atlantic coast.

Millions of Brits will holiday in the UK rather than travelling overseas this summer but staying on British shores doesn’t mean you can forgo travel insurance.

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According to the Great Britain Tourism Survey, Brits took 57.9 million holidays at home in the UK in 2018, spending £14.3 billion. These numbers are likely to rise in 2019, with a survey from market research company Mintel showing that 43% of holidaymakers say uncertainties around Brexit have made them more cautious about booking holidays.

Marloes De Vries, travel analyst at Mintel, said: “While taking a holiday remains a clear priority for Brits, Brexit and economic uncertainties are bringing unwanted storm clouds over the holiday market. As a result, more travellers will consider staycations and all-inclusive holidays in 2019.”

Why travel insurance matters

Although staying in the UK means you don’t have to worry about delayed or missed flights, you’ll still need to consider how you’d cope financially if your hotel or holiday booking was cancelled.

Simon Williams, of comparison sire Compare Cover said: “If you have to cancel your UK break because one of the family falls ill, many bed and breakfasts, hotels, caravan parks and holiday homes would not provide a refund. Even Airbnb cancellation policies are decided by the individual hosts and differ from place to place, and that’s when the real value of travel insurance can come into play.”

Travel insurance also provides cover if your personal belongings are lost or stolen when you’re on holiday.  You may find you have cover through your home content insurance policy for your valuables when you’re away from home, but check the small print so you know which possessions are covered and which aren’t.

If you’re travelling further afield

If you’re planning a holiday overseas, travel insurance is crucial, as it provides cover for the cost of medical treatment abroad, flight delays, cancelled trips and lost or stolen baggage. It’s worth choosing a policy which also includes airline failure in case the airline you’ve booked with runs into financial difficulties.

Recent months have seen several airlines collapse, with Flybmi one of the latest to fail. According to financial information business Defaqto, less than half (48%) of travel insurance policies offer cover for airline failure as standard, meaning that travellers could be left unprotected if they can’t travel because their airline has ceased to operate.

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Brian Brown, head of insight at Defaqto, said: “If you paid for your flight with a credit card, you will be able to get a refund from the credit card company and should contact them directly for this. If you bought your flight with a debit card, you may be able to claim under your travel insurance policy if you have this cover.”