Travel insurance UK

The United Kingdom, home to the royal family, James Bond, scones with whipped-cream and jam, and the birthplace of (arguably) some of the most innovative music since we started plugging our guitars into amplifiers. From culture to country-side, the UK is a very popular destination for Australian travellers, being the fourth most visited country in 2019, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Whether you’re catching a glimpse of Buckingham Palace, doing a Beatles pilgrimage, or simply experiencing the melting-pot of cultures in London via your tastebuds, there’s a whole wealth of experiences to be had in the Queen’s country. Just remember to pack a travel insurance policy, to ensure you’re financially protected if the unexpected happens. After all, you don’t want to have to fork out thousands of Pounds in shock expenses if your flights are cancelled, you end up in hospital, or your luggage goes missing.

What should my travel insurance policy for the UK include?

Depending on what type of traveller you are, the kind of international travel insurance policy you choose will come down to a few different factors. These include how long you’re travelling for, if you think you’ll need any specific benefits, like cover for cancellations and delay, and if there are any optional extras you think you’ll need. 

Whether you’re driving around the UK in a rental vehicle or motorbike, backpacking, or sightseeing, an international travel insurance policy should fit your needs and budget. If you’re cruising in style through the British Isles, then make sure your policy offers cruise travel insurance as an optional-extra, for example. Also, if you’re travelling with a pre-existing medical condition, make sure that your insurance provider covers your condition. You don’t want to foot the bill in an overseas hospital if your health acts up while travelling.

Generally, travel insurance providers offer different tiers of cover on their international policies. These often range from basic or essential policies, to premium or comprehensive policies. 

A basic policy will often cover benefits like overseas emergency medical and hospital expenses, and personal liability. However, cover for things like flight delays, cancellations, loss of travel documents or cash, might only be available if you pay a higher premium. The question you have to ask yourself is, what can I afford to risk?

Do Australians need a visa to travel to the UK?

As an Australian, if you’re travelling to the UK for less than 6 months, you likely won’t need a visa. However, if you’re planning on staying longer than 6 months, you can find information about visa eligibility on the UK Government’s website.

Can I get COVID-19 travel insurance for the UK?

Since 1 April 2022, all Covid-related travel restrictions to the UK have been removed. You won't have to prove your vaccination status, enter quarantine, nor provide a negative COVID-19 test to enter the UK. 

However, if you are heading to the UK via another country, there may be COVID-19 measures still in place. So, it's worth checking Smartraveller to see if your stopover destinations still have travel restrictions. 

However, if you’re travelling overseas, your international travel insurance might not cover you for any COVID-19 related claims, depending if your destination is considered high-risk by the Australian government’s Smartraveller warnings. So, before you go booking your UK adventure, make sure you check the travel advice warnings for your destinations.

If your policy does cover COVID-19 related events, it may only provide cover for overseas medical and cancellation costs if you contract COVID-19, and may not cover things like mandatory quarantine or government-mandated border closures.

Travel insurance tips for UK

  • Excess fees. When you need to make a claim on your travel insurance policy, you may be required to pay a certain part of the total value of your claim. The rest would be paid by the insurance provider. This amount that you need to pay yourself is called an excess. This excess fee can vary according to your policy. Generally, the cheaper the cover, the more likely your excess fee will be higher.
  • Pre-existing conditions. Travel insurance providers ask you to declare any pre-existing conditions at the time of purchasing the policy. If you fail to do so, the insurance company can reject a claim you later make regarding that condition. Also, remember that pregnancies are considered as a pre-existing condition.
  • Unattended baggage. Remember that if your bags go missing while you’ve left them unattended, your insurance provider may reject your claim. In fact, even when you leave your bags with the hotel concierge after you’ve checked out, that’s often considered ‘unattended’ in the provider’s eyes. So, leaving your luggage with the concierge at the hotel could result in your provider refusing to reimburse you for it, if it goes missing. 
  • Report incidents ASAP. Whether you’ve injured yourself while hiking through the countryside, or had your bags stolen from your hotel, you need to report any incident as soon as possible. Again, if you’ve read your policy’s product disclosure statement (PDS) carefully, you’ll know the exact documentation that you will be required to submit with your claim. Generally, these will be doctors reports, hospital bills, police reports, or receipts, depending on the nature of your claim. So, make sure you hold onto these when it comes to contacting your travel insurance provider. 
  • Driving in the UK. First of all, don’t drive a vehicle you aren’t licensed to drive. Australians who hold a valid Australian driver’s licence, you’re able to drive for up to 12 months on UK roads, after which you’ll need to apply for a UK licence. If you’re renting a car, make sure you have the right paperwork and consider whether or not your policy covers rental vehicle insurance excess, in case there’s an accident in your hire car. And like in any part of the world, don’t drink and drive – your insurance will not cover you for any accidents while under the influence.
  • Drink responsibly. For some, it’s all too easy to set yourself up in a UK tavern, pint in hand but always remember to be responsible with your drinks. If you face a medical emergency or injury while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your insurance company could refuse to reimburse you for those expenses. The worst type of hangover might not come from pints of beer – but be induced by bills.

Compare internaitonal travel insurance policies - last updated 18 August 2022

Search promoted travel insurance below. Advertiser disclosure Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
  • International Travel Insurance
    covid medical cover
    Yes
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    Unlimited
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    $5,000 - Option to increase in lots of $1,000.

    Get protection in a few simple steps with Freely travel insurance all in the palm of your hand. Freely Travel offers 24/7 emergency and medical support, 24/7 customer service. Plus, you can tailor your policy so you only pay for what you need, and adapt your cover in near real time. Add-ons such as car rental excess, snow sports or other activities also available.

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  • Top
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
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    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
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    Be covered for international overseas and medical expenses. Emergency medical assistance 24 hours/365 days a year. Cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits. Cover for luggage and personal money. Dependents covered free of charge (conditions apply). Limited COVID cover available. Cancellation cover for COVID claims limited to $3,500.

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  • Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
    Yes
    covid cancellation cover
    Yes
    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
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    $25,000

    Easy and cost-effective travel cover with Covid-19 cover included. With 4 base plans, 4 packs and cover for specific medical conditions. For Australian travellers, couples and families up to 99 years young. Add optional extras. 24/7 worldwide emergency help and unlimited medical cover. 14-day cooling-off period, money back guaranteed.

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  • Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
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    Unlimited
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    Get peace of mind with Fast Cover with worldwide 24 hour emergency assistance. Enjoy cover for emergency medical and hospital expenses. Get cover for cancellation costs as well as for luggage and personal belongings. No medical assessments required. 25 day money back guarantee. Cancellation cover for COVID claims limited to $5,000.

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  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
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    Unlimited
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    $25,000

    Travel insurance with Covid-19 cover and made for women. Choose from 4 levels of cover so you only pay for the insurance you need. Cover comes with unlimited emergency medical cover worldwide. Kids travel free. Tailor your travel insurance with extra cover for activities and special gear. 14-day cooling-off period, money back guaranteed.

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  • Comprehensive
    covid medical cover
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    covid cancellation cover
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    overseas hospital
    Unlimited
    cancellation cover
    $5,000 optional to increase to $Unlimited

    Backed by the NIB, one of Australia’s largest travel insurance providers, Travel Insurance Saver brings you peace of mind on your travels. Compare three tiers of insurance cover, featuring benefits like 24 hour emergency assistance, emergency medical cover, luggage cover, cancellation cover and more.

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^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance Awards

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