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Travel Insurance Advice For The UK
It might be one of the longest of long-haul journeys, but that doesn’t stop the United Kingdom from being one of the top travel destinations for Australians. Around 587,600 Aussies visited the UK in 20161, for a mix of holiday travel, visiting friends and relatives, and business.
Fun things to do in the United Kingdom – but don’t forget the travel insurance
Forget the stereotypes about bad weather, the UK is the ultimate cosmopolitan destination, an adventure lover’s paradise, and let’s not forget, drowning in culture and history.
Let’s take a look at just a few ideas to keep you busy on your trip to the United Kingdom.
- Castles and royals: The UK is rich with royal history and for many people, a trip just would not be complete without visiting one of the many castles. One of our favourites is the Tudor-era Hampton Court Palace and its famous maze.
- The great British seaside: There’s something quite charming about the British seaside. Yes, it’s probably not like going to the beach in Australia, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth including in your itinerary. Visit Brighton’s pier and buy a piece of the famous Brighton rock, or experience some of the UK’s best surfing at The Gower in Wales.
- Get cosy in the pub: What’s a trip to the UK without a pint or two in one of its numerous pubs? And when the weather is dreary, a cosy pub with a local ale and some delicious “pub grub” can be the perfect way to spend a couple of hours.
- A country ramble: The UK is positively riddled with incredible walking paths, many of which have been in use for thousands of years. Get your boots (and your wet weather gear) and go for a walk in the Lakes District, across the South Downs, or for the more adventurous, try the multi-day Coast to Coast or West Highland Way.
But whatever you decide to do in the UK, travel insurance is essential. Accidents happen, illness strikes and the unexpected occurs. Expect the best, but be prepared for the worst, and you’ll be guaranteed an awesome UK travel experience.
Potential problems in the UK
The UK is generally very safe, but there is the risk of thefts and muggings in the bigger cities2, as well as travel delays and cancellations.
The UK and Australia have a reciprocal healthcare agreement
Thanks to our reciprocal health care agreement, Aussies have access to the UK’s amazing National Health Service3 – most NHS services are free provided they are medically necessary and the need arises within 6 months of your arrival to the UK. This doesn’t mean that you don’t need travel insurance though!
The reciprocal health care agreement doesn’t cover things like private healthcare, repatriation costs, or the costs of additional flights and accommodation incurred if you’re hospitalised. It also excludes non-subsidised medicine from pharmacies, prescription medicines if you aren’t an NHS patient, and all dental services.
To provide an example, if you get hurt in a motor vehicle accident, the reciprocal health care agreement will mean you get treated in hospital. But you could still be out of pocket for changes to travel plans, additional accommodation costs for any travel companions, costs incurred due to delayed flights home, or needing to be repatriated sooner than anticipated.
What your UK travel insurance will cover
Here’s a brief overview of what your UK travel policy will likely cover. Please note that inclusions can differ between policies and providers.
The reciprocal agreement will cover most of your medical needs provided they are medically necessary and can’t wait until you get home, including accidents and visits to a GP. Some pre-existing conditions might not be covered, though, so read the small print and buy extra insurance if necessary.
Cancellations and lost deposits
If you have to cancel a trip due to illness, a natural disaster, or injury, then your insurance will cover you up to the limits set out in your policy.
If you lose your luggage, or if it’s damaged or stolen, then you’ll be reimbursed up to a limit as set by your policy. Comprehensive insurance will also cover cash and travel documents.
The UK is so far away that delays are always possible, even with an uncomplicated flight schedule. Your insurance will cover the additional expenses incurred during a delay up to a limit as set out in your policy.
Your personal liability
The Brits are tolerant people, but if you injure one of them (or damage an unsuspecting garden gnome), then they’ll expect you to have personal liability insurance to cover the costs.
Your policy may already include the extras you need, like rental vehicle excess, loss of income and so on, but there’s also lots of add-on options.
What isn’t covered?
- Unattended items: These won’t be covered if they’re stolen, so keep a close eye on your valuables.
- Drug & alcohol accidents: Injuries and accidents related to alcohol or drugs aren’t covered, so go easy on the Pimms and avoid drugs.
- Ignoring travel warnings: This could see your policy invalidated. Keep an eye on travel advice from both the Australian and the UK governments.
- Risky activities: Pot-holing, climbing, and canoeing are popular in the UK, but you might need to take out extra insurance to cover them. Check the small print of your policy.
- Pre-existing conditions: These aren’t always covered, so check the small print and be ready to pay extra.
Looking for travel insurance for the UK?
Start comparing travel policies the easy way with iSelect. You can compare travel policies side by side, and find one for your needs before heading off on your exciting trip.
* We do not compare all brands in the market, or all products offered by all brands. We do not arrange products from the brands we compare for you directly, but we will refer you to our trusted partner who can.
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