Need help? Find out more about our Covid Cover, how to update your policy online & the latest travel updates in our Covid Help Centre

What’s Travel Insurance For and Do I Really Need It?

Posted on April 17, 2020 by Lucy Hancock
group of seniors laughing on beach

When you go on holiday, the last thing you expect is something to go wrong. But the unexpected can happen at any time, from lost luggage or flight delays, to a medical emergency abroad.

We’ve put together a simple guide to answer just how useful travel insurance is, if it’s actually needed, and how much you need to be protected.

Do I really need travel insurance?

While you don’t need travel insurance as a legal requirement to go on holiday, it is important to have. Travel insurance covers you for the unforeseen – things going wrong when you least expect them to.

Many tour operators will ask that you have comprehensive travel insurance before you go away, just in case something unexpected happens.

For medical expenses, travel insurance can save you a lot of money if you need treatment abroad, particularly in countries like the USA. In fact, the USA has the highest average price for a medical claim of £9,941, which is double that of the next highest average claim.

Is going on holiday without travel insurance really worth risking? The unexpected can crop up on holiday at any moment and more often than you might think. In fact, 1 in 20 of our customers claimed on their travel insurance in 2018.*

How much travel insurance do I need?

How much travel insurance you need will depend on what you want to be covered for.

How much has your holiday cost you and does your cancellation cover limits match that cost? Do you live with a pre-existing medical condition and would you be covered if you needed emergency medical treatment abroad?

Having to cancel your holiday or needing medical treatment while you’re away are the two most common reasons people claim on their travel insurance.

If you’re after a high level of cover, you might like our Comprehensive Travel Insurance policy, for extra peace of mind. But if you’re only after standard cover, our Basic Travel Insurance may be the perfect fit for you. For extra confidence while you’re away, you can choose from our optional extras, like Terrorism Cancellation Cover or Cruise Plus cover, to tailor your policy to your personal needs.

Always check the limits of the travel insurance policy to be sure it covers what you need it to.

Does travel insurance cover me for COVID-19 related situations?

All new travel insurance policies with us include coronavirus cover at no extra cost. This means if you get COVID-19 and need help, you’ll be covered as long as you’ve declared your pre-existing medical conditions.

However, if you still need to travel but the FCDO has advised against all but essential travel, you can still get a level of cover if there are no government restrictions in place.

Our European FCDO Travel Advice Extension add-on allows you to travel within your policy limits, but excludes any COVID-19 related claims, or the reason for Foreign Office advice against all but essential travel while you’re away. Please note, government enforced bans are different from FCDO travel advice.

Make sure you keep up to date with the latest government travel advice before planning your next trip.

How does travel insurance work?

Travel insurance works as a protection plan if something unforeseen goes wrong before or while you’re on holiday. But no two travel insurance policies are the same.

What you’ll be covered for by your travel insurance is determined by your Validation Certificate. So, it’s important you take a look at your Validation Certificate as well as the policy document – it’s there to explain the ins and outs of your cover.

If you have an unforeseen emergency while you’re away, or something unexpected crops up before you go if you buy your travel insurance at the same time as booking your trip, you should give our claims team a call. It’s important you contact us as soon as possible, so we can get to work to put things right. That way you’ll have peace of mind, knowing you’re covered for what you want to claim for.

It’s worth noting that not all travel insurance policies will cover every eventuality, so make sure your policy covers you for what you want to be protected against. It may be worth taking a look at your Validation Certificate before you contact our claims team. Your Validation Certificate will also list any optional extras you’ve opted for.

If your hospital treatment is likely to cost more than £350, someone must call our 24 hour medical emergency helpline as soon as possible. That way, as long as your claim is valid, we’ll pay the hospital directly where we can.

The claims process aims to be straightforward and stress-free, and you can submit your claim online or by post.

Are travel insurance limits per person?

Even if you have a group or family policy, travel insurance limits and excess are on a per person, per claim basis.

These include medical cover, cancellation cover and baggage cover per person, as well excess costs which can be avoided with our Excess Waiver optional extra.


* As provided by our underwriter

Lucy Hancock

by Lucy Hancock

Lucy Hancock is Staysure's Content Executive. As a specialist travel insurance provider, we aim to keep up-to-date with travel trends, all while offering tips on how to make the most of your holiday. Lucy travelled across Europe with Interrail in 2017, and her favourite destination was Budapest. She likes big books, big words and the colour yellow.