Half of those staying in the UK for their summer holidays this year do not have any insurance to cover their trip, new research has shown.
This is despite the average holidaymaker taking £676 in valuables away with them on their ‘staycation’.
But with a free national health service at the point of service, is it ever necessary to take out additional travel insurance when holidaying in your home country?
Without insurance holidaymakers have no cover for lost, stolen or damaged belongings
In a study of 2,500 Britons by the insurer Policy Expert, 75 per cent said they were taking a holiday in the UK this summer.
Half of those said they didn’t have any insurance to cover them – should something go wrong on the trip such as if their possessions are stolen or damaged.
Not only did they not have travel insurance, their home insurance would also not cover them for their belongings when they were taken out of the house.
Just 13 per cent of those asked said they would take out travel insurance for a staycation.
The research also said 8 per cent of Britons on a staycation had been a victim of loss, theft or damage with mobile phones, cameras, wallets and jewellery being the most common items stolen.
Travel insurance policies can cover cancellations or delays but clauses may apply for UK trips
A quarter of those staying in the UK had chosen to do so because it was cheaper than going away while 42 per cent said it was an easier option and 53 per cent said they did so because they wanted to visit the British countryside or seaside.
Separate research from Direct Line showed that London was the most popular location for UK staycations last year, followed by Cornwall, the Scottish Highlands and the Lake District.
But if you’re going away in the UK, do you really need to buy insurance and if so what kind?
Rebecca Hollingsworth, policy adviser for travel at the Association of British Insurers, said: ‘People may not be aware that a number of travel insurance policies offer cover for UK breaks.
‘This means you could get your money back for pre-booked accommodation if your holiday has to be cancelled at short notice – for example because you fall seriously ill or suffer a bereavement.
‘Policies may also provide cover if valuables such as cameras or laptops are lost or stolen, although it’s also worth checking whether this is already offered as part of your home insurance.’
If you have an annual travel insurance policy this should provide cover for any of your trips – whether they are in the UK or abroad.
Holidaymakers take an average of £676 away with them in valuables on UK trips
The cover will be the same wherever you are in the world but the amount for medical cover in the UK is likely to be different – because you won’t have to pay for emergency medical treatment in the UK.
Everything else, such as cancelling the trip, ending it early and emergency travel expenses should be included.
However, double check the policy because some insurers stipulate that you need to be a certain distance from your home for the insurance to be valid or the holiday needs to be a set number of days.
For example, Direct Line only covers UK trips if you had paid to stay in pre-booked accommodation for two or more consecutive nights, while LV says the trip must either be more than 25 miles from your home, have pre-booked accommodation or involve a sea crossing.
You may also be able to get some cover for your belongings with your existing home insurance.
If you have contents insurance, this will cover all of your belongings when they are in your home from loss, damage or theft. Generally accidental damage is not included as standard so this may be something you need to pay extra for.
However, once these items are out of the house, they won’t be covered unless you also have ‘personal possessions’ cover. This typically costs around £20 per year and covers individual items up to the value of £1,500 to £2,000.
Although if you’re relying on your contents insurance remember this is only covering your belongings and won’t pay out if you need to cancel the holiday for any reason, cut it short or if you need emergency travel expenses.