Is London calling? If you’re pining for all things Pommy you’re not alone. Over 500,000 of us Aussies are drawn there each year!
Do you have a craving for Pimm’s and pies? Bet you can’t wait to explore cosmopolitan London, or take in the sights of Stonehenge. Perhaps you’ve got a touch of Welsh wanderlust or a hankering for bonnie Scotland? With more history than you can shake a stick at, the UK is perfect for those seeking a peek at times gone past. The UK keeps it in the family too, with four fascinating countries all within reach for the price of one. Plus, with Europe right on London’s doorstop, Paris is just a hop, skip and a jump away! C'est tres bon!
Now we don’t like to think of holidays as risk taking ventures, but the truth is, new (slightly chillier) environments and unfamiliar territory can throw any traveller for a loop.
But when you’re a whopping 15,000 kilometres away from home a lot can go wrong. Flight delays, missed connections and lost luggage can muck up your trip faster than a London taxi!
Don’t let bad luck sour your experience - make sure you pack travel insurance along for the ride.
Compare travel insurance for the United Kingdom
Whether you're a budget conscious backpacker, a time poor parent booking a family getaway, or a senior seeking safe, reliable options, it pays to compare travel insurance policies to find the right cover for your UK trip.
A travel insurance policy will cover you for unexpected accident or illness, lost luggage or theft, unforseen trip cancellation and much more.
When comparing policies, it's important to consider benefits, as well as costs…
How much does travel insurance for UK cost?
The cost of travel insurance can vary enormously no matter where you go! Say you’re 30 (ish) years old and you’re going to England for a two-week holiday. Depending on your preferred level of cover, you can expect to pay anything from $44 to $280. To give you an idea, we’ve outlined the costs of several policies below;
Basic policies approx. $30 – $60. If you're looking for real low cost travel insurance, Budget Direct’s Last Minute is the cheapest basic policy on our site at $30. This policy includes unlimited medical and $1 million personal liability only. The excess you must pay towards a claim is $200.
Mid-level policies approx $60 – $80. Fast Cover’s standard policy offers decent cover at just $59. This includes unlimited medical, unlimited cancellation, $5 million personal liability, $5,000 luggage, $15,000 accidental death, $2,500 hospital cash, $15,000 personal disability, $2,000 for travel documents and $30,000 travel expenses. The excess is $200.
Comprehensive policies approx. $80 (ish) – $280. 1Cover’s comprehensive policy at $85 offers generous cover with a low excess of $100. Their policy includes unlimited medical, unlimited cancellation, $5 million personal liability, $15,000 luggage, $25,000 accidental death, $5,000 hospital cash, $25,000 personal disability, $5,000 for travel documents and $50,000 travel expenses.
*All prices accurate at time of writing June 2015.
Does the UK have reciprocal healthcare with Australia?
Lucky for us Aussies, the UK and Australia share reciprocal healthcare agreements. That means you have access to GP services and hospital treatment that are on the NHS - for free. The agreement does not however give you access to any private health care.
What will my policy cover?
If your ultimate UK trip takes a downward turn for any of the following reasons, comprehensive travel insurance will keep you in ship shape.
- Medical: You can never predict when accidents or illness will strike and while your medical bills may be covered while you’re in the UK, they wouldn’t be in Europe. Fancy a spur-of-the-moment sojourn to Switzerland? A split second accident could send your holiday overboard. Overseas medical costs in Europe can be huge, and travel insurance will cover the exorbitant expense of overseas medical cover.
- Cancellation fees and lost deposits: Travel insurance will cover unforeseen cancellations for events such as natural disasters, as well as accidents, hijackings, severe sickness or injury. Incidents that are beyond your control will usually be covered.
- Luggage and personal effects: Anything’s worth getting that perfect picture of Wills and Kate at Buckingham palace until you drop and break your camera. Your travel insurance policy will reimburse you for lost, stolen or damaged luggage. Comprehensive cover also includes cover for theft of cash and travel documents too.
- Travel delays: The UK is a very loooong way away! Even booking direct flights with the same airline means there are high risks of travel delays and cancellation. Although travel insurance wouldn’t pay for new flights if your flight was delayed (your airline is responsible to get you on the next flight) your travel insurance will reimburse you for any expenses you incur during your delay. Conditions apply.
- Personal liability: If you injure someone or are held accountable for damaged property in the UK (like crashing your hire car into a parked car for example) the consequences would be less than brilliant. In such an event, your policy will cover your liability costs to a degree.
Additional extras: Each policy varies but look out for top notch extras such as cover for rental vehicle excess, permanent disability, loss of income, cover for kennels and catteries (if you’re delayed home to your fluffy friends) and more.
What will my policy not cover?
- Unattended items: Staying in a hostel, or travelling in a group? Keep a strong hold over all your belongings as leaving your stuff unsupervised will not be covered for. That also means not leaving your stuff with your brand new chums!
- Being intoxicated: Rarely a social occasion goes down in the UK without a pint. Planning a big British bender? Keep in mind that all claims related directly to alcohol and drugs will not be paid.
- Terrorism and travel warnings: While the chances of getting caught up in riots or an act of terrorism are small, it’s still a good idea to keep up to date with travel advisories on sites like smarttraveller.gov.au. Generally travelling against DO NOT TRAVEL warnings from the Australian Government will jeopardize your cover.
- High risk activities: Ready to get undone in the UK? The region is full of high-octane adventure sports. From rock climbing in the Brecon Beacons, windsurfing on the Thames, to canoeing in the Cotswolds, there’s plenty of choice for adrenaline junkies seeking a fix. But watch out, as participating in particularly risky activities such as climbing (where ropes are needed), or open water sailing may not be covered by your policy. Be sure to scan your policy’s small print to check out which of your preferred heart pounding activities are covered!
- Pre-existing conditions: Medical conditions that exist before you travel are generally not covered, but it pays to check. You can sometimes pay a bit extra to get some conditions covered. Check your policy wording to see what conditions are covered automatically, and which ones require a medical assessment first.
- Unreported items: You need to report theft or loss to the relevant authority ASAP (and your travel insurance provider) within 24 hours.
How to save on travel insurance for the UK
- Choose your destination wisely – You might be able to save yourself a few quid by finding an insurer that classes the UK in its own price bracket, rather than grouped within Europe.
- Consider how often you travel - If you travel a few times per year, you could save by purchasing an annual multi-trip policy rather than purchasing a policy each time you take off.
- Combine policies - If travelling with your family or a companion, a joint policy is often cheaper than purchasing separately.
- Increase your excess - Most insurers allow you to lower your premium by opting to pay higher excess in the instance that you need to make a claim.
- Shop around - You'll be amazed at how much travel insurance quotes can vary. Offers by travel agents or airlines usually have commissions added on. In fact, you can save up to 50% by shopping around, so it pays to buy your travel insurance direct. Doing your comparison online will allow you to compare loads of travel insurance quotes in seconds. Yippee!
Safety speed dial
Found yourself in a spot of bother? The following emergency contacts should come in handy.
Australian High Commission, London
WC 2B 4LA
+44 20 7379 4334
London Information Centre
+44 20 7292 2333
Edinburgh and Scotland Information Centre
3 Princes Street
+44 845 22 55 121
+44 1539 822 222
8 fast facts about the UK
- Capital: London
- Currency: Pounds Sterling
- Language: The main lingo is the Queen’s English of course. But you can practice your Gaelic too if you’re a couple of pints deep…
- Country calling code: +44
- Nature: Natural wonders in the UK are plentiful. For spectacular scenery check out the Scottish Highlands, the Devonshire Moors, the Gower in Wales or the quaint Cotswolds - all are big Aussie tourist attractions you shouldn't miss.
- History – Edinburgh Castle, The Tower of London, Warkworth Castle to name but a few...the UK has more castles to explore than hot dinners! Got a touch of royal fever? Wales is believed to have more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world.
- Food & drink: You can’t pass up the classics when you’re in Blighty. Make sure to snag some proper fish and chips (wrapped in newspaper of course), or cozy up for a country pub roast beside a roaring fire. Those wanting to grow a few hairs on their chest shouldn’t pass up the chance for some haggish when in Scotland, or a pint of Guinness in Ireland.
- The most famous Welsh town name is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Yep, that’s a real place!
Ready to find your perfect United Kingdom travel insurance policy?
Stuff going wrong on holiday shouldn’t be your foremost concern. After all you’ve got royals to see, and world famous landmarks to visit. But like it or lump it, without safeguarding your travels, your entire trip could go belly up!
Compare UK travel insurance policies to save time, worry and loads of money. You’ll be on your way to a fun, worry-free holiday quicker than you can say “Big Ben”!
Or perhaps your heading elsewhere on your holidays? Perhaps you're venturing to New Zealand or experiencing the delights of Hong Kong? No matter where your adventure takes you make sure you compare travel insurance for your next trip!!!