Travel insurance UK: Must knows for travelling to the UK
If you're thinking about travelling to the UK for your next trip, you're going to need overseas travel insurance. Even if you're an expat going back to your hometown. It's recommended to purchase a good comprehensive travel insurance policy when traveling to the UK, because after all, there's no substitute for travel insurance.
What's the big deal with travel insurance anyway?
The last thing you want is a minor or even big problem to ruin your trip to the UK. Here are some basic reasons why:
Cancellation If you're flight is cancelled and your need to reschedule, your airline company may not cover the costs, even if the issue is on their side and especially if it's a budget flight.
Medical expenses Whether returning to your hometown where you may or may not be able to take advantage of your local medical benefits, or visiting the UK for the first time, you'll need to purchase medical cover. This may include ambulance, basic medical, hospital and dental expenses you incur while traveling in the UK.
But why do I need cover if I can see my local GP? If the care you require needs continuous support after returning back to Australia, then you'll need to take out an overseas insurance policy. It would cost a lot more if you had to foot the bill on your own. After all, there's no predicting what state of emergency you'll require, so don't take the risk.
Loss of luggage Travel insurance to the UK will cover basic personal belongings too. If you have more expensive or precious items, you may want to look at buying extra cover on top. But think twice about leaving your luggage unattended, because they won't be covered by your travel insurance.
The airline causes luggage delay If your airline loses or misplaces your luggage at Heathrow for more than a minimum period of time, you may receive an amount to cover the purchase of ‘emergency' clothing and toiletries, depending on the policy you take out.
Cost of delays Who wants the burden of delays on your trip? Some delays could be from a few hours to a few days. The cost for a London hotel room alone could be exorbitant, especially if you're booking a room at the last minute. The good news is, your travel insurance should help cover some or all of this expense, just by purchasing the right policy.
Can I cancel my trip? If unforeseen circumstances like a new work contract, illness or death in the family force you to cancel your trip, you may be reimbursed for anything from cancellation fees to initial deposits.
Rental vehicles Perusing the Welsh countryside at your leisure sounds carefree and amazing and can be done when you hire a vehicle to do your sight-seeing in. But with different road rules, jetlag and other possible outcomes is reason enough to take out insurance to cover costs related to injury, vehicle or property damage.
Additional expenses covered These can cover unforeseen circumstances no one ever thinks to imagine like the death of your travelling partner, natural disaster or strike.
Stolen cash You may be covered for cash stolen from you, but it's usually not more than $100-$200.
My travel documents Can you imagine if your passport got stolen? The good news is, if your passport or travel documents are lost, stolen or damaged, you may be covered buffer the cost of their replacement.
What about personal liability? This would be a pretty awful situation, but a necessary part of your policy. It covers you when you're legally liable for injuring a someone whole traveling in the UK or damaging their property.
Total permanent disability By purchasing the right level of insurance, you will be paid a certain sum if you suffer an injury during your UK trip that results in your total and permanent disablement.
Finding the right policy for your UK trip
Can seniors still get travel insurance when visiting the UK?
The short answer? Absolutely. Mozo can help you to find a great seniors travel insurance policy. However, there are some providers that won't insure seniors over a set age limit. So have a good read and make sure the overseas travel insurance policy you choose covers your age before making your purchase.
Here's a quick checklist that may affect your decision, just for seniors:
- Have you recorded your exact age?
- Have you revealed any pre-existing medical conditions?
- Which one suits me best: Basic, Standard or Comprehensive?
- Is a multi-trip insurance cheaper for my travel needs?
- Should I purchase extra travel insurance for going on a cruise from the UK?
- Will I need to purchase extra cover for my sporting equipment?
- Are my pets going to be ok while I'm away?
Family insurance to the UK
If you have little ones under the age of 12 years of age, then you can rest assured that most travel insurance companies will include them in your own policy. So whether purchasing insurance cover for as a solo adult traveler with two kids or a couple with 5 kids, if they meet the required age limit, then your kids travel free. That's dinner for the week covered!
Travel agent VS Mozo
The price of your travel insurance policy may be impacted by fees and commissions when purchasing from a travel agent. Buying your overseas travel insurance from Mozo however is simple, straightforward and easy to do. Mozo will save you time and money on your search by having a breakdown of comparative prices all in one place. No need to drive from travel agent to travel agent comparing prices on your travel insurance, so you may save a great deal of money if you shop for cover directly from insurance providers.
What kind of travel insurance do I need?
This is completely up to you and your personal circumstances. Whether you're making a return trip to the UK within 3 months, need a multi-travel insurance policy, have pre-existing, medical conditions, are over 60 years of age, or a young family will determine what kind of policy you might need.
Do I need a quote?
You may be happy with the initial price you see, but at Mozo, we recommend getting a quote from each of your top 3 choices. Quick and easy to do online, but try aiming for travel insurance that's more middle-of-the-road rather than going for the least expensive. Kick off your travel insurance quote here.
The small print: You may as well forget about travelling to the UK if you are not prepared to read the small print. So many travellers miss out on crucial details that may or may not make their claim viable, so its importnat you read the product disclosure statements.
Travel insurance and working in the UK
Much the same as regular travel insurance policies, there are providers that offer working holiday travel insurance when you work and travel through the UK.
If you plan on traveling and working in the UK, some overseas insurance providers may extend your policy up to 18 months. Sometimes called the ‘backpackers insurance' some providers may even cover you for journeys you make outside of the UK. But you need to check first.
Time to consider annual multi-trip cover?
Whether traveling and working in the UK with the intention of traveling to other parts of the world, or going back and forth from Australia and the UK, for a 12 month period, by taking out a multi-trip cover, you can cover yourself for multiple trips, wherever your journey takes you.
This type of cover is a great way to save time and money, especially saving you having to take out a separate cover for each trip. But as we always say – read the fine print. Most of the time, your journey needs to start and end in Australia. As each policy is different, check what applies to your personal situation.
Reciprocal Health Care Agreement for Australians travelling to the UK
The Australian Government has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement in place with the UK. Similar to Medicare, as an Australian, some of your medical expenses may be covered automatically while traveling in the UK.
The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement does not cover:
- ongoing medical treatment
- pre-existing medical conditions
- evacuation from the UK back to Australia for the sake of medical treatment.
Since the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement covers the very basics, you need to recognise that the best thing you can do for yourself is purchase comprehensive travel insurance so that you can fall back on it for anything major, while relying on the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement for minor incidences.
The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement should by no means be considered a replacement for travel insurance. Not only does it not provide sufficient coverage for medical emergencies, but it also doesn't cover any of the other risks that travel insurance protects against, such as cancelled or delayed trips, lost or stolen luggage and personal liability. For a peace of mind and protection against such risks, travel insurance for the UK is highly recommended.
Are there risks when travelling in the UK?
Let's face it, the UK is considered a safer travel destination than most other regions of the world, but as we've seen in recent years, there are always potential risks:
Terrorism Unfortunately seen as a potential threat. Always take the safest, clearest routes when commuting. For the smartest and safest way to travel to the UK always:
- purchase adequate travel insurance
- register travel and contact details with smartraveller.gov.au
- report suspicious behaviour.
It's advisable to contact your travel insurer in an emergency. Before you leave Australia, keep your insurer's contact number handy, especially if there is a 24 hour hotline. If your emergency requires consular assistance, try one of the following organisations:
Australian High Commission, London
+44 20 7379 4334
London Information Centre
+44 20 7292 2333
Edinburgh And Scotland Information Centre
+44 845 22 55 121
Travel insurance UK tips and traps
Already familiar with the UK? An Aussie traveling there for the first time? Whatever your situation, Mozo have compiled a quick list of tips and traps when traveling to the UK:
Driving: Good news! Countries of the UK drive on the left side of the road, which means adapting to new traffic conditions may be relatively easier than driving around other countries.
But if you're only staying for a short while, you might want to consider using public transport during your stay instead of driving. You'll be able to relax not having to concentrate on new traffic signs and conditions, while minimising the risk of causing an accident.
Staying a little longer? Even though Australia is part of the Commonwealth, you still need a visa if you stay in the UK for more than 6 months.
Excess fees: How much or little you pay in overseas travel insurance will determine the cost of your excess fee. Read the fine print and see how much you're will to pay upfront if an emergency comes up.
Pre-existing medical conditions: Always disclose pre-existing medical conditions. If you don't purchase the right insurance for your condition, you run the risk of losing your travel insurance benefits entirely.
How do I make a report? Whether involved in an at-fault accident where you or others are injured, you've damaged property or some of your property is lost or stolen, you need to make a report. An official UK medical, hospital or UK police report may be required to quantify your claim if you make one.
Driving a hire car: The good news is, if you hold a current Australian driver's license, you can drive in the UK for up to 12 months. If you travel, live or work in the UK longer than 12 months, you may need to exchange your Australian driver's license for one that covers driving around in the United Kingdom.
Drinking overseas: Whether you consider yourself a party animal or a sensible drinker, if there's the tiniest amount of alcohol in your system and you're involved in an accident or require medical assistance, your travel insurance may be considered void.
Adventure sports: The Highlands are known for some great sports like the Caber Toss and Scottish hammer throw, but if you are going to indulge in adventure sports on your holiday be sure that you've got the right level of cover as some sports will need to take out additional cover. Some policies will even require you to get extra cover for trekking and bike riding so read the PDS before you sign up for anything that may void your policy.
How do I submit a travel insurance claim?
When you purchase overseas travel insurance, the best outcome is when you don't have to make a claim. But in the event where you need to, Mozo makes it easy for you to get your head round the process. Just follow these simple steps:
- Where's your overseas travel insurance policy number? Keep track of all travel documents so that if you need to make a claim, you'll know where find it.
- Make your claim online to save time. Just visit your insurer's website to start your insurance claim journey.
- Locate the Travel Claim section.
- Make a copy of out-of-pocket expenses in case original receipts are needed to be sent by post to your insurer.
- You may be able to attach copies of receipts and attach them to your travel claim form.
How long before I hear back?
Just imagine the volume or claim forms your insurer receives. Be patient when if comes to hearing back about your lodgement. It may take 2 – 10 business days.
When can I claim?
Sometimes it's unavoidable, but try not to leave too much time lapsed between incident and lodgement of your claim. After all, you don't want to misplace vital documents.
Travel insurance reviews
If you need a little nudge in the right direction, read a few reviews about other traveller's personal experience. That way you get the most objective overviews about the travel insurance policies out there.