If you\u2019re travelling outside of the UK, whether for work or pleasure, you might be thinking about travel insurance. Why is it so important? Because, as with all types of insurance, it\u2019s there for when things go wrong\u2014and sometimes they do. Here's a quick overview of UK travel insurance providers, for trips to Europe and the rest of the world, with information on COVID-19 cover. First things first: What does travel insurance include? The main things your UK travel insurance policy should cover include: Cancelling or cutting your trip short for reasons beyond your control Missed transport or delayed departure for reasons beyond your control Medical and other types of emergencies Personal injury and death Lost, stolen or damaged items, including but not limited to luggage, passports, and money Accidental damage or injury caused by you Do I need UK travel insurance? You\u2019re not legally obliged to have travel insurance for most trips from the UK; however, some tour operators will make it a requirement ahead of travel, particularly in countries like the US where there is limited public healthcare. Having a travel insurance policy can give you peace of mind, but will also stop you from racking up huge bills, and avoid time lost on stressful admin if things do go wrong. Finding the best UK travel insurance policy depends on a few factors, including your destination, age, how many trips you\u2019re likely to make in a year, and the type of activities you\u2019re planning to do. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the main travel insurance providers in the UK, as well as a few specialist policies. It\u2019s also worth noting that some UK banks offer travel insurance as part of their current account packages, so check if you\u2019re already covered under that, or at least compare it with other providers to determine the best deal for your particular trip. Note: Getting travel insurance is important, but we can\u2019t make the decision for you. We can only provide information to hopefully make that decision a bit easier. Also, please note that we do not sell or provide insurance ourselves. How is COVID-19 affecting travel insurance in the UK? At the time of writing, much of the world is still in various degrees of lockdown due to the pandemic, and the UK Government, along with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, advises against non-essential travel to many countries. Visit the Government website to stay up to date, and check out this page to see which countries fall under the UK's green, amber and red list travel zones (the colour will affect your coverage). The current global crisis has created an unprecedented demand for travel insurance claims, due to cancellations and disruptions, and according to consumer publication Which?, a number of providers now offer some sort of COVID-19 coverage. However, the degree and range of coverage varies, so you'll need to check the policy carefully. Not all countries are covered. This guide will focus on some of the top travel insurance providers available in the UK, and their standard offerings\u2014in no particular order. Please note that it is not an exhaustive list, nor are prices set in stone\u2014everything is subject to change. Always triple-check the terms and conditions before signing anything. Note: All of the UK travel insurance providers listed below include some COVID-19 cover. UK travel insurance providers SafetyWing: Travel medical insurance Simple to navigate | Set up for digital nomads SafetyWing is set up for frequent travelers, and specifically digital nomads and remote workers. You can buy coverage from anywhere in the world, even after you leave your home country (including the UK). It also covers a pretty big list of outdoor and adventurous activities (though bad luck for anyone who is into bull-running, Aussie rules football, or base jumping). The FAQ section makes scanning the terms and conidtions nice and simple. Standard policies cover four weeks, but you can sign up for automatic renewal for up to 364 days. Price-wise, a 28-day policy for someone between the ages of 10 and 39 costs around \u00a329.43 (excluding travel in the US\u2014add an extra \u00a324 to cover that). Overview: Simple to set up Ideal for digital nomads and remote workers Includes a comprehensive list of sports and outdoor activities Underwritten by global insurer Tokio Marine Limited COVID-19 cover Allianz Travel Caters to a good range of policy needs | Decent price points Allianz Travel is a good \u2018all-rounder\u2019 in the world of travel insurance that offers comprehensive categories, including medical, winter sports, and backpacker. The website is nicely laid out, and you can find what is and isn\u2019t covered by policies at a glance. Allianz Travel\u2019s parent company Allianz Global Assistance is one of the largest travel insurance companies in the world, so it\u2019s able to offer a larger breadth of coverage than a lot of insurers. Price-wise, policies start from \u00a344 for annual cover, but adding skiing etc. to a policy bumps up premiums considerably. For example, a backpacker without skiing is under \u00a330, but with skiing is over \u00a350\u2014although the coverage is for a year. Single trip insurance starts from as little as \u00a34 and covers you up to \u00a32,500 for cancellation. Overview: Various policy types, including Single Trip, Annual, Backpacker, Medical and Winter Sports Decent price points Good reputation for customer service (Trustpilot, Feefo, Tripadvisor) Limited COVID-19 cover Post Office Travel Insurance All medical conditions considered | No upper age limit The UK Post Office Travel Insurance offers various levels of cover, including single trip, annual cover, backpack cover, worldwide cover, family cover, and pre-existing medical conditions cover. It gets pretty good customer and consumer watchdog reviews, and offers a 24\/7 emergency helpline, although claims lines are only open during UK office hours, which could be restrictive. The Economy Backpackers plan for travel around Europe (with the exception of a few countries) starts at \u00a332.04, and Premier Annual Multi-trip plan for Europe (up to 31 days) from \u00a367.19. Expect to pay more if you plan on doing winter sports or taking a cruise. Overview: Several levels of cover including single trip, annual multi-trip, or backpackers insurance All medical conditions are considered 24\/7 emergency helpline No upper age limit Limited COVID-19 cover AXA Comprehensive cover, easy claim process AXA is a multinational and one of the major insurance companies operating in the UK for home contents insurance, health insurance, and car insurance, and so it\u2019s a reasonably safe bet for travel insurance too. Like many insurers, it offers a Bronze, Silver and Gold tier system for policies. But even with the Bronze level on a single trip or annual multi-trip policy, you\u2019re covered for up to \u00a310,000,000 for things like medical emergencies or repatriation, and up to \u00a310,000 for personal accidents. It offers the standard single trip, annual multi-trip, and family policies, as well as adventure travel, medical travel, and winter sports. As a price guide, you can get annual cover from \u00a330.26. The website highlights that policies also include cover for things like volcanic ash and strikes, which isn\u2019t commonly signposted with other insurers. Overview: High-value, wider-ranging cover 24\/7 emergency helplines Online claims anytime or place Limited COVID-19 cover Different types of travel insurance cover to consider Policy types are typically broken down into the following categories: Single trip Covers you for one destination, and usually for up to 30\u00a0days. You can generally choose European or worldwide cover. Activities such as adventure sports or winter sports aren\u2019t usually covered, but you might be able to buy bolt-ons. Annual multi-trip Better value if you\u2019re a frequent traveller, but probably not if you\u2019re taking only a couple of city breaks in a year. Worldwide There are two types of worldwide cover: including and excluding the USA, Canada and the Caribbean. This is because they don\u2019t have public healthcare for travellers, so it bumps up the price of cover. Make sure to exclude them if you\u2019re not travelling to any of those regions, to save money. Specialist Including winter sports, backpacking, and for pre-existing medical conditions. These are generally excluded from standard policies, so you\u2019ll need to shop around a bit to find an insurer who will cover what you need. We\u2019ve highlighted the insurers that offer categories beyond the single, annual multi-trip, and worldwide cover, but to narrow your search, note the following: Winter or adventure sports Too many to list, this ranges from skiing and snowboarding to other daring, dangerous, and equipment-heavy activities. Backpackers Backpacker policies are aimed at 18-35 year-olds and are ideal for gap year\/extended trips. Family travel insurance Worth looking at if travelling with children, as some offer free cover for under-18s. Group travel insurance Worth considering for trips with friends, destination weddings, stag and hen dos, etc. Over 65s travel insurance Unfortunately, insurers do discriminate on age grounds, largely due to higher potential risk of ill health. Some insurers won\u2019t insure anyone over 65, and those that do are likely to charge higher-than-average prices\u2014so shop around. Medical conditions insurance Getting cover for particular long-term health conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes can be difficult, as not all insurers offer it. The process is also likely to involve a lot of questions, so make sure you leave plenty of time ahead of any trip to secure a policy. How to make an insurance claim Making a claim on your UK travel insurance depends entirely on your policy, so check the terms and conditions and get familiar with your insurer's claim process before you leave, to avoid a huge admin headache. Some are easy to access on the fly, with 24\/7 online support, while others have dedicated telephone lines that operate on a UK 9-5 Monday-Friday basis only. Here are a few quick tips to help make the process as smooth as possible: Keep all your travel documents to hand\u2014both physical and digital copies on your laptop or mobile devices (policy docs especially, but also passport, visas, accommodation details, etc.). Contact your insurers and the relevant authorities as soon as possible if you need to claim (i.e. for theft, you\u2019ll need a crime reference number from local police before you can make a claim, for lost or stolen luggage contact the airline to report it first, and let them know you\u2019re making a claim) Write everything down as soon as possible, and be accurate. The length of time a claim takes will depend on your provider, and the reason for your claim, but the sooner you contact your insurer the better. Legal disclaimer: We do not endorse any of the companies mentioned in this article. Use all insurance providers at your own risk. Additionally, this article contains affiliate links. These in no way affect our findings and should not be considered an endorsement.