Travel and trip insurance

Getting travel insurance for a trip with guiding

Whether you’re planning a day trip, organising a residential or travelling abroad, make sure you consider some of things that could happen.

For example:

  • Travel disruptions before you go and on the way back
  • The event being cancelled or cut short
  • Someone losing their baggage or a personal belonging being damaged or stolen
  • Someone having an accident or illness

If you’re going on an organised trip, then insurance might be included in the package. It’s your responsibility to check that terms and conditions and limits are suitable and to make sure that insurance cover is in place. You should also check that it covers all activities you are planning to do on the trip.

Before the trip, it’s a good idea to make clear to parents and carers what insurance cover you have, or haven’t, got. Also let them know what the situation is in terms of cancellation, travel delays and damage to personal belongings.

Travel insurance options

Your options for travel insurance cover when you're planning a trip.

When planning your day trip or residential within the UK, think about issues that might happen. There could be travel disruptions, damage to members’ personal belongings, or the trip being cancelled or cut short.

Make sure that all activities you are planning to do on the trip are covered by Girlguiding insurance. Check the activity for girls finder for information and if you have any questions, contact your outdoor activity adviser, or email [email protected].

You don’t need to have medical cover because the NHS will treat medical issues.

If you’re travelling for guiding activities using your own vehicle or hiring one, check the insurance requirement for the vehicle.

Consider all these scenarios as part of your risk assessment.

Girlguiding insurance does not cover cancellation or curtailment, travel issues or damage to personal belongings. So you should either make provision within your event budget for any costs or take out a travel insurance policy.

You can take out any travel insurance that’s suitable for the trip, as long as it’s with a reputable company. You an check this on the Financial Conduct Authority.

If you’re using a travel agency, or you’re hiring your transport from a company, they might have a policy option which you can consider. Check that the terms and values are suitable before signing up to it, even if the company recommends it.

The insurance will only cover payments made after you have taken out the policy so you should make these arrangements at the same time or in advance of booking.

You can also choose to get travel insurance through our partner, Unity Insurance Services. You can contact them by email at [email protected] or phone 0345 040 7704. For more information, check our Unity Insurance Services webpage.

When you’re organising a guiding trip abroad, make sure that you have adequate insurance cover for all volunteers and girls. Girlguiding insurance doesn’t cover international trips, so you’ll need to arrange for your own. You can arrange travel insurance through any reputable insurance company. You can check this on the Financial Conduct Authority website.

You can also choose to get travel insurance through our partner Unity Insurance Services. You can contact them by email at [email protected] or phone 0345 040 7704.

We recommend arranging a group policy because it’s easier to manage while travelling. You’ll only have 1 insurer’s details to hold, 1 insurer to contact in an emergency and everyone will be able to claim for the same items and values. But you might find that there are participants with complex medical or mental health conditions which can’t be covered under the group policy, so you might need to arrange separate cover for them. Check the accessible guiding grant information if you need help to cover extra insurance costs for members with additional support needs.

Or you might find every participant will have their own travel insurance policy which you’re happy to use. But think about how you’d manage that information and risk assess the different scenarios. For example, you wouldn’t want someone to be left behind because their policy didn’t cover being repatriated in a group scenario.

The insurance will only cover payments made after you have taken out the policy so you should make these arrangements at the same time as, or before booking.

While you’re on your trip

Always carry the insurer’s contact details and your policy number with you and, if anything happens, contact them at the same time as notifying your home contact. They’ll advise you on the next steps you need to take.

What to look for when you’re choosing travel insurance

It’s important that you check all sections of your policy to understand what is covered by the policy and what it doesn’t cover.

What travel insurance policies usually cover

Medical cover

Check that this provides suitable cover for your trip. Think about:

  • If the medical conditions, and ages, covered meet the needs of your trip.
  • What different things are covered and what the values are including cover for ongoing treatment, repatriation and treatment in the UK.
  • Cover for mental health and pre-existing medical conditions.
  • European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are no longer valid. You can get a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) instead.

Cancellation and curtailment (cutting your trip short)

Check the different scenarios where cover does and doesn’t apply. Some areas to consider include airline or travel company failures, pandemics, and international travel restrictions. You might be able to pay for extra cover to protect you against these issues, which you should risk assess.

As well as the exclusions on your insurance travel policy, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your booking from your service providers. What financial penalties are there for cancelling your accommodation or transport and does it change over time towards the date of your booking?

Travel delays and disruptions

Check what cover your insurance provides, including what happens if you miss your scheduled transport due to reasons outside of the control of the group, or face delays or cancellation.

Make sure that you know what proof you’ll need so that you can collect it at the time.

Baggage and personal belongings

Check your policy for details. There’s usually a maximum amount that can be claimed for a single item, and a maximum amount for valuables.

Before the trip, you could ask participants to take a picture of their belongings before they close their suitcase and to keep the receipts of any new items they buy before going on the trip. If there’s lost or stolen baggage, the insurers or travel providers might ask for proof of belongings. You can use these if that happens.

You should also check what the policy says about electronic devices and valuables.

Passport and other documents

Check your policy for details of your cover in case of lost or stolen passport or other travel documents.

Personal liability and legal expenses

This covers you if you accidentally cause an injury to someone or damage their property, and they choose to sue you. It can also help you pursue compensation or damages if you get injured from an accident.

Travel insurance policies may not cover you for public liability if you cause injury or damage to a fellow guiding member on your trip – this is called party-to-party injury or damage. However, you would be covered under Girlguiding’s public liability insurance if you haven’t intentionally caused the injury or damage. For any expenses relating to the injury or damage, such as medical costs to the guiding member, you should always contact your travel insurance provider first.


Check the list of activities covered by the policy and only plan activities that are covered by your insurance policy. Also follow our activity requirements.

Check the policy to see what cover it has for Covid and pandemics and consider what impact it might have when you risk assess the trip.

Unity Insurance Services

To purchase a policy with our partner Unity, or for more information about their travel insurance cover for Girlguiding, contact them directly by phoning 0345 040 7704 or by emailing [email protected].