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UK Travel Insurance

11 February, 2020 By Natalie Smith

What's covered | What's not | Reciprocal healthcare | Working holiday visa | Brexit & Schengen visa | How to save | UK helpers | UK travel insurance FAQs

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 doorstep, 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.



If your trip takes a downward turn for any of the following reasons, comprehensive cover will keep you in ship shape.

24/7 Medical assistance

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.

cancellation cover

Cancellation cover

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.


Lost or damaged Luggage

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. 

No hidden fees

Travel delays

The UK is a very long 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) your cover will reimburse you for any delay expenses. Conditions apply. 

family emergency

Travel documents

No doubt you'll also be traversing around Europe whilst being in Blighty. How fun! However, lots of travelling means more opportunities to lose your essential travel documents. Luckily your travel insurance can cover to get them replaced if they are lost or stolen.  

personal liability

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. 

what it doesn't

  • 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.
  • 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  Generally travelling against DO NOT TRAVEL warnings from the Australian Government will jeopardize your cover.
  • Unreported items: You need to report theft or loss to the relevant authority ASAP (and your travel insurance provider) within 24 hours.


reciprocal healthcare

Under the reciprocal healthcare arrangements, Australians may be covered for medical costs by the UK public system, the NHS. To be eligible for free treatment you’ll need to show both your Australian passport and your Medicare card.

You’re covered for:

•    Care from an NHS doctor or nurse at a GP surgery - you need to register as an NHS patient
•    Care in a public ward of an NHS hospital
•    Out-patient care at an NHS hospital
•    Ambulance travel to an NHS hospital or other NHS facilities
•    You might have to pay for prescriptions.

working holiday visa travel insurance

Generally speaking, Aussies don’t need a visa to travel to the UK, provided you’re not staying longer than 6 months. However, if you’re one of the thousands of young Australians heading to Blighty for the two-year working holiday visa you’ll need to do some additional research in terms of getting cover. 

Most standard single trip policies in Australia only provide cover for a maximum of 12 months in duration. If you do some research, you’ll find some policies will cover for longer - up to 18 months to two years in duration. Click here to learn more about two year travel insurance.

Aussies eligible for the two-year visa can apply if:

•    You hold an Australian passport
•    You are aged between 18 and 30 years (inclusive) at the time of applying
•    You have no dependent children accompanying you
•    You have a return ticket, or sufficient funds for a return or onward fare
 •   You have sufficient funds for the first part of the holiday.


brexit (& schengen countries)

Brexit won't directly affect your ability to work or travel within the UK. Currently, all the usual rules continue to apply. 

The Schengen system still remains which gives Australians a 90-day travel visa to 26 countries. Schengen refers to the EU passport-free zone that covers 26 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.


how to save on uk travel insurance

save on travel insurance
  • 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!
  • Pick the right level of cover - Whether you're a budget-conscious backpacker, or after the posh experience, it's important to pick the right cover for your trip, or you could end up paying more later.
  • Compare your travel insurance - The cost of travel insurance can vary enormously! Say you’re 30 (ish) years old and you’re going to the UK for a three-week holiday. Depending on your preferred level of cover, you can expect to pay anywhere from $35 to $250. Remember, when comparing policies, it's important to consider benefits, as well as costs.



UK Travel facts

Found yourself in a spot of bother? The following emergency contacts should come in handy.

Australian High Commission, London
Australia House
The Strand
+44 20 7379 4334

London Information Centre
Leicester Square
Greater London
+44 20 7292 2333

Edinburgh and Scotland Information Centre
3 Princes Street
+44 845 22 55 121

Cumbria Tourism
Windermere Road
+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




Have a tricky travel insurance question? Here are some of the most common queries we get from our customers.

How much does travel insurance to the UK cost?

It will largely depend on your age and how long you're going for. Comprehensive Travel Insurance to UK for 7 days for a 30 year old can cost as little at $25. That's peace of mind for $3.50 a day. A small price to pay for you to enjoy your holiday knowing you're protected should the unexpected happen.

What does travel insurance to the UK cover?

A UK comprehensive travel insurance policy will cover you for unexpected accident or illness, lost luggage or theft, unforeseen trip cancellation and much more.

Do I have to get travel insurance for the UK?

Don’t become complacent because reciprocal healthcare agreements are in place, a myriad of things can go wrong on your trip. Lost luggage, trip cancellation, family emergencies are just a handful of things can put a spanner in your holiday plans.

Does UK travel insurance cover me for a terror attack?

Whilst many insurers have general exclusions in regards to acts of war, most will still cover you medically if you are injured in a terror attack. Learn more about travel insurance and terrorism.

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Contributor Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith

Having travelled to over 40 countries, studied tourism management and worked as a flight attendant for over three years, Natalie knows more than a thing or two about travel! She’s an adventure-lover, whose favourite trips have been trekking Machu Picchu and volunteering in an animal shelter in the Amazon. Qualified in Tier 2 General Insurance General Advice and specialising in travel insurance for the last five years, she in passionate about helping travellers get the most out of their holiday.

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