With caravan parks and campsites potentially reopening in July, many of us have been searching for socially-distanced holidays that are available in the UK. From rental cottages and log cabins to Winnebago’s and yurts, we are spoilt for choice with so many different types of unusual and exciting accommodation.
We’ve been dreaming about getting away and escaping our same four walls for weeks and weeks now. So, when the government finally gives us the go-ahead to venture out of our homes and book a trip in the UK, remember to insure your trip with a UK-specific or staycation policy, as the last thing you want is to get caught short while enjoying a well-deserved break.
Here we answer everything you need to know about a staycation policy so that you can travel with peace of mind knowing that your trip is protected.
So, what is a staycation travel insurance policy?
A ‘staycation’ travel insurance policy is similar to the normal insurance policy you’d buy if you were travelling abroad but includes specialist cover to protect you against unexpected events that could happen during a break in the UK.
What’s the difference between a normal travel insurance policy and a staycation policy?
Staycation policies tend to provide you with a more unique cover, tailored to those unfortunate mishaps that can happen during a UK getaway.
For example, some UK policies will provide you with cover for events such as property damage, should you accidentally break something in your holiday home, and not get your deposit back. While others offer cover for things like vehicle breakdown, which can be a real perk if you only have ‘near home’ cover on your roadside policy and need assistance while on your way to your holiday destination.
Similar to the normal travel insurance policy you buy when you’re off abroad, staycation policies also provide you with the standard elements of any travel insurance policy, including cancellation, curtailment, and personal possessions protection. Just because you’re staying in the UK, doesn’t mean that things won’t happen which requires you to cancel or cut short your holiday and losing out on that money.
Why do I need to buy a staycation policy if there’s protection elsewhere?
While you may not need the benefit of having emergency medical cover in a staycation policy (as we’re fortunate enough to have access to the NHS in the UK), you’ll need to be sure that your trip and belongings are 100% protected through other insurances (such as home insurance) if you do decide to risk travelling without insurance. Alternatively, you’ll need to check that you have cancellation protection with your holiday provider, should you decide to risk it.
Many people don’t see travel insurance for a UK trip as an essential purchase. However, if anything unexpected was to happen before or during your trip which could financially impact you, you’d kick yourself for not spending those extra few pennies on adequate protection. Not to mention that now, more than ever, money is tight and every little really does count.
What sort of things can a staycation policy cover you for?
Cover in a staycation policy will vary from provider to provider, but many include the following cover:
Staycation policies will allow you to submit a claim to recover any lost costs if you need to cancel your holiday.
Many reasons could lead you to submit a claim, but here are just a few that are usually covered as standard: family members or close relatives becoming sick or passing away before your trip, your pet needing emergency treatment the week before your trip, or being made redundant.
Of course, it’s always worth checking your policy wordings for more details and to find out exactly what cancellation cover you have as this differs between providers.
If you need to cut short your trip or return home earlier than expected, staycation policies will allow you to submit a claim for any day’s holiday you missed out on.
There are reasons which will be listed that will allow you to claim for this, but many are the same as above (plus a few more!)
Medical repatriation costs
We’re lucky enough to have access to free medical care through the NHS here in the UK, so the medical element is slightly different in a staycation policy compared to one you purchase when you travel abroad. However, the cover is still really important and includes protection against things you may never have considered…
Some staycation policies will cover any necessary repatriation costs to help get you home, should you need to go to the hospital during your trip. This includes transporting your car or providing you with a driver if you are unable to drive yourself. While others provide compensation should you fall ill and be hospitalised or confined to your trip accommodation (and therefore missing out on your holiday plans!). Many also cover the travel costs of one person to visit or stay near you, should you need to stay in the hospital, as well as the cost of transporting your body or ashes should anything happen to you while away (not something you want to think about, but it’s good protection to have just in case!)
Just because you’re holidaying in the UK, doesn’t mean your cash, values, or electrical items won’t get lost, be stolen or get accidentally damaged during your trip.
Of course, cover limits vary depending on your travel insurance provider and you will have to submit some form of evidence to support your claim, but it’s always worth knowing that should anything happen on your trip, you’re covered!
Now, this is a perk. If an unexpected event was to happen during your journey to your holiday destination, for example, horrendous traffic, and it causes you to be more than 6 hours late to arrive at where you were going, some policies will compensate you!
Many staycation policies also provide cover for any accidental costs incurred during your trip that you are legally liable to pay. For example, if your child accidentally broke something in your holiday rental, and you were unable to get your deposit back, some policies will cover this cost for you!
Sports and activities
Now, many travel insurance policies require you to purchase a ‘sports extension’, should you wish to participate in any sporting activities during your trip. However, some staycation policies tend to include this cover as standard, meaning you can get involved in all sorts of activities, without having to pay a penny more!
Of course, it’s always worth familiarising yourself with exactly what activities are included as standard and talking to your travel insurer if you plan on doing any more adventurous pastimes.
If more adrenaline-filled and adventurous activities are your cup of tea, several providers offer dedicated sports insurance with higher levels of cover than the standard staycation policies might.
Sometimes this cover may fall under the ‘unexpected events’ section in a policy, but many UK travel insurance policies will cover you for any costs or charges incurred which are totally out of your control. The cover here can vary, but here are just a few examples of the sorts of things you may be covered for under this section: fire, flood or storms destroying your planned trip accommodation, as well as some of the below:
- Vehicle breakdown – this includes the reimbursement of call-out fees or labour, as well as extra travel or accommodation costs incurred while your vehicle was being fixed. Of course, this is only applicable if you do not have any other form of insurance to protect you against these costs.
- Attraction or event cancellation – a staycation policy may reimburse you if an attraction you were meant to visiting or an event you were meant to be attending during your trip was closed or cancelled, and you weren’t able to get your money back!
- Beach pollution – yep, that’s right. If you go on holiday and the beach is closed or unfit to use due to pollution, a staycation policy will compensate you for every day you cannot use it (although there is a maximum amount of days that you can claim for).
Before you go…
It’s worth knowing that most travel insurance policies will only cover UK breaks if they are for more than two nights and you are staying in pre-booked accommodation, such as a hotel, log cabin, caravan, etc.
However, there are a few policies that do not have a minimum duration, so it’s always worth checking what’s available and shopping around to see what policy suits your holiday best!
We always recommend that you check your policy wordings to find out exactly what your policy covers and what limits are included. If you do have any questions or concerns about what cover your staycation policy includes, we advise that you contact your travel insurance provider directly to find out more information.