What do I need to know about travel insurance?

Coronavirus update
You should check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office  (FCDO) advice before you travel. If you travel to a country despite advice FCDO against ‘all but essential’ international travel, then your travel insurance policy is unlikely to be valid.
Remember that all insurers take different approaches so it is best to speak to your broker or provider about  your specific needs and cover.   Many policies are not covering cancellation for coronavirus and it is important to check whether medical expenses are covered if you fall ill abroad with coronavirus.  All policies are different so please check your individual policy.

Travel insurance is really important cover, not just for coronavirus.  It can provide cover for medical expenses if you fall ill aboard for other reasons and cover lost baggage.  It is important that you obtain the correct levels of cover, especially now as there is uncertainty around the reciprocal health care agreement with Europe and the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) relating to our EU exit.

If you need medical help on holiday, are involved in an accident, lose anything or have to cancel your holiday at the last minute, the appropriate cover saves you the worry and expense you’d otherwise face.

Holidays are often incredibly expensive, as is healthcare overseas. Therefore it is important to get the right cover to make sure your experience is as relaxing as it should be!

You can read an update from the FCDO on travelling during the coronavirus here. 

Did you know?

That if you’re travelling to the Channel Islands you will need travel insurance in case of any medical emergencies. There is no longer NHS medical cover for UK travellers.

Below are some tips to help you.


  • That all of your medical conditions have been declared to your insurer. Even if they occur between the day you took out the policy and the day you leave.
  • If you’re going to be taking parts in sports or hazardous activities that this has been declared on the policy
  • Your policy limits are adequate – how much cash are you covered for, are your baggage limits sufficient?
  • That your motor breakdown covers Europe and not just the UK.
  • Your excesses – some policies insist on an excess for each item lost – i.e: passport, wallet, or luggage. Good policies, like the BIBA Holiday Travel+ Policy, should only request one excess per incident.
  • Which policy? – if you are taking numerous trips abroad it is worth considering arranging an annual multi-trip policy as opposed to a single trip policy.
  • On inoculations, civil unrest etc. (MASTA and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Make sure

  • You take your travel policy number and emergency help line number with you or save them on your phone.
  • You leave enough time to travel to the airport, if you are late because you didn’t leave enough time to get to there – you won’t be able to claim.
  • You don’t leave valuables in the open, especially while on the beach. Check your policy wording. You should check if your insurer provides cover if you leave them in the hotel reception safe (a room safe may be insufficient for your insurers)


  • You have an expensive item you want to take away with you, a special piece of jewellery, a digital camera, or a laptop for example you should check the limits on your policy and potentially arrange to increase them.
  • You are a victim of theft: Report this as soon as possible to the local police, the hotel and the tour operator. Your insurance company may insist on a written report.
  • You buy items like sunglasses while on holiday keep the receipts.

Just in case:

  • Take copies of your passport, travel insurance documents and visas. As it will be easier to get them replaced or get home should you lose them.
  • Label bags with destination address, email and phone number.
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