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Travel Insurance - Do I Really Need To Buy Cover For A Holiday In Britain?

By Michael Challiner

Last week my wife and I booked a seven day holiday in Tobermory on the wonderful Isle of Mull. All that grand scenery with brightly painted houses clustered around the harbour. Hands up who knows Tobermory as Balamory!

You could have knocked me down with a feather when the travel agent assumed that I wanted travel insurance for an additional "27.50. Not on your Nellie the Lock Ness monster, I thought. I can spot a rip off when I see one! Who needs insurance for a trip to another destination in Britain? The NHS is free and in an emergency, my daughter could drive up and take us home.

Later in the comfortable setting of my lounge I got to thinking ".

Holiday disasters don't only happen abroad. So I made a list of the risks:

One of us could be taken ill before we depart and we'd be forced to cancel. As the ferries and the hotel were non-cancellable, we'd lose everything we'd paid.

My parents are getting on. God forbid, but I'd have to cancel the holiday if something happened to them just before we're due to go.

My wife or I might be called up for jury service.

There may be a major delay at the ferry. Besides the inconvenience, we have to arrange an overnight stay in Oban.

Someone might steal our luggage

I've just bought an all singing and dancing camera especially for the trip. I might lose it.

If either of us were hospitalised we wouldn't want to be stuck on Mull. We'd want to be transferred to our local hospital in Cheshire.

Then it struck me that my Home & Contents insurance would probably cover me for loss of luggage or my camera if I was travelling in the UK. I dug out the policy. Lucky I checked. I was only insured for "personal possessions if the items were listed and as I'd only bought my camera last week I hadn't got round to getting it documented on my policy as a valuable item.

Another point struck me. If I made a holiday related claim on my Home & Contents policy I'd lose my no claims discount. That didn't appeal one little bit. I've a ten years claim free record on my H&C policy and it still cost me "305 a year. I jotted down a note to self - when that policy comes up for renewal, check out the Internet to see if I could get it any cheaper.

By now "27.50 for a travel policy was beginning to look worthwhile.

But you'll realise I'm a bit of an old skin flint - at least my wife says so! I know, get online and check out whether the travel agents' policy at "27.50 was competitive.

Not all the sites I visited could offer me single holiday insurance within the UK but within ten minutes I'd found what I wanted - a travel policy and a saving of over "10!

Time to read the small print to make sure I truly had the cover I needed. Great, all the risks I had jotted down were covered. They'd even pay me "30 if my ferry was delayed for up to 12 hours and then give me the option to cancel my trip and get a refund.

Now check out the exclusions - what wouldn't they pay for? I wasn't covered if my holiday was for less than two nights or if my holiday destination was less than 25 miles from home. I also had to pay the first "30 of any claim. All seemed fair to me.

The decision was made. Key in my credit card details and CLICK I was insured. Peace of mind restored!

About The Author

Michael Challiner writes for Brokers Online who offer most UK financial services including travel insurance

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