Travel insurance for the United Kingdom

Head Across the Pond in Confidence

The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland and is a popular international travel destination for Americans

Traveling to the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is also a great starting point for a bigger European vacation.

Many Americans find the UK an easy place to travel. English is spoken widely, modern infrastructure makes it easy to get from place to place, and American visitors don’t need a visa, as long as you stay for less than six months. All you’ll need is your passport, battleface travel insurance, and your best curtsy or bow (in case you meet the Queen, of course).

Over 35 million people visit the UK every year, and many of them are residents of the United States. As a safe and welcoming travel destination, the vast majority of these trips to the UK went off without a hitch, but it’s still important to be prepared.

Travel insurance can help avoid stress and financial loss when the unexpected happens, whether it’s inconveniences like flight delays and lost baggage or something more serious—like an injury sustained while hiking in Scotland or a car crash that happens because you’re not used to driving on the left side of the road.

Good to know

Is travel insurance required for a trip to the United Kingdom?

Travel insurance isn’t required for Americans visiting the United Kingdom. However, prudent, experienced travelers always purchase travel insurance, especially when traveling internationally. Information on insurance requirements can change quickly, so we suggest you check the US State Department website for the most up-to-date information.

What type of travel insurance is best for the UK?

Look for a policy that covers you when the unexpected happens. For example, your US health insurance policy probably won’t cover you when you’re out of the country, so you may want to consider travel medical expense coverage.

Does my personal health insurance cover me when I’m in the United Kingdom?

The short answer is “it depends.” You should check with your health insurer before you depart, as some may cover international travel, but many do not. Even if you are covered, be aware that you generally need to pay out of pocket and then seek reimbursement when you return home. Other considerations include:

  1. An emergency medical evacuation can easily cost $100,000 or more. Travel insurance generally pays this cost up front, and can protect you against a huge bill later.
  2. For those on US Medicare, be aware that Medicare does not cover you outside the US.
  3. Don’t expect the State Department to come to your rescue — from their website: “We do not pay medical bills. Payment of hospital and other expenses is the patient’s responsibility.”

How much does travel insurance for the UK cost?

Based on factors such as your age, trip cost and trip length, the cost can range from 4-8% of your total trip cost, or more if you select options such as Cancel For Any Reason coverage.

Is the UK safe for travelers?

The United Kingdom is widely considered to be a safe country to visit, and millions of American travelers visit the destination each year. However, like any place you visit, it’s important to exercise caution and be prepared for the unexpected. Petty crime like pickpocketing is common in large cities, especially in areas frequented by tourists, so keep a close eye on your passport.

Do I need separate car insurance if I rent a car in the UK?

Your US auto insurance policy likely does not cover you for rentals outside the US, but you should check with your insurance company before departing. Note that the damage waiver offered by the rental company can be very expensive. Some travel insurance plans offer rental vehicle damage coverage that can be less expensive than what is offered by the rental agency.

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