STAYCATION bookings are surging as more than half of Britons are planning a holiday in the UK this summer, but many will go without insurance because they do not think it is worth covering a domestic trip.
While most buy travel insurance for foreign trips many do not bother on home turf, leaving them with no protection against cancellation, curtailment or lost and stolen belongings. This summer 22 million Britons will spend £14.6billion holidaying in the UK, according to new research by Virgin Money. Of these, six out of 10 will not take out travel insurance, despite spending on average £660. The NHS may be there for domestic medical emergencies but Virgin chief customer experience officer Fergus Murphy said insurance still has value: "It could help if you experience delays, cancellations or end up losing your mobile or tech gadgets while away."
Virgin's new packaged current account, the Club M Account, combines travel, breakdown and mobile phone cover. Many banks offer similar packages so check whether you already have cover.
When booking insurance, ask whether your policy will pay for cancellation if you test positive for Covid before departure, or curtailment if you catch it while away, as rules differ.
No policy will pay up if you travel against government guidance, were supposed to be shielding or tested positive before buying insurance.
Separate research from Aviva General Insurance shows Britons lining up camping, caravanning and self-catering trips in the UK, and head of risk Sarah Applegate said buying insurance brings peace of mind.
A good policy may cover cancellations for unforeseen problems such as injury or illness suffered either by you, a travelling companion or close family member, as well as jury service and redundancy.
Applegate said take cover the moment you book as then you are protected if you need to cancel: "Otherwise you risk losing a deposit, or even the full cost of your holiday."
Remember to disclose your full medical history. "If you have cover through your bank or an annual multi-trip policy, tell your insurer of any health changes at renewal," Applegate said.
Always read the policy small print as many insurers require pre-booking and minimum stays, such as two consecutive nights.
Many policies do not cover baggage as standard, although you may be able to buy it as an add-on. You may have personal belongings cover under your home insurance policy, so check.
A good travel policy may also pay out if your holiday company goes bust and for additional travel or accommodation to get home following illness.
Specialist medical travel insurer InsuranceWith.com has seen a surge in enquiries from people booking "seacations", also known as UK cruises.
Brand manager Sarah Page said that cruise cover offers compensation if you are confined to your cabin on medical advice or miss pre-paid excursions.
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