Travel and trip insurance

What to consider when you're getting travel insurance for a trip with guiding

Whether you’re planning a daytrip, or organising a residential abroad, make sure you consider some of the 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/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 you need to think about issues that might happen. For example, travel disruptions, damage to members’ personal belongings or reasons for which the trip might be 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 finder for information and if in doubt, contact the outdoor activity adviser for your country/region or email [email protected] at Girlguiding HQ.

Medical issues (accidents or illnesses) will be treated by the NHS, so you don’t need to have medical cover.

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

You should consider all of these different 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 can check this with the Financial Conduct Authority.

If you’re going with a travel agency or are hiring your transport from a company (such as hiring a coach), they might have a policy option which you can consider. Remember that it’s important to 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 Girlguiding and Unity Insurance Services.

When you’re organising a guiding trip abroad, you must make sure that you have adequate insurance cover for all volunteers and girls. Girlguiding insurance does not include international trips, so you will need to arrange for your own. You can arrange travel insurance through your choice of reputable insurance company. You can check this with the Financial Conduct Authority.

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 as it's easier to manage while travelling. You only have one insurer’s details to hold, one insurer to contact in an emergency and everyone will be able to claim for the same items and values. However, you might find that there are participants with complex medical or mental health conditions which cannot 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.

Alternatively, every participant might have their own travel insurance policy which you are happy to use. However, you need to consider how you would manage that information and risk assess the different scenarios – you would not want someone to be left behind because their policy didn’t cover being repatriated in a group scenario for example.
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.

You will find more information on what to look for when choosing a travel insurance policy in the section below.

If you’re travelling within the country where you live, you will need to think about some issues that could happen. For example, travel disruptions, damage to members’ personal belongings or reasons for which the trip might be cancelled or cut short. You should consider all of these different scenarios as part of your risk assessment and either make provision within your event budget for any costs or take out a travel insurance policy. You also need to consider what medical treatment is available within your country of residence and ensure that you hold appropriate documentation.

If you are travelling outside of the country where you live, you must make sure that you have adequate travel insurance cover for all volunteers and girls. You can arrange travel insurance through your choice of reputable insurance company. You should check that the providers is reputable using an appropriate authority within your country of residence.

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 will advise you on the next steps you need to take.

It’s important that you check all sections of your policy to understand what is covered by the policy and what it does not cover (exclusions).

Travel insurance policies usually cover these areas:

Medical cover

Check that this provides suitable cover for your trip. Things to consider include:

  • 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.
  • The cover for mental health and pre-existing medical conditions.

If you’re travelling to Europe remember that European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are no longer valid after 31 December 2020. The EHIC scheme covered many pre-existing medical conditions that are not covered as standard by all travel insurance providers, so you need to make sure that you have sufficient cover in your travel insurance policy.

Cancellation and curtailment (cutting short of your trip)

Check the different scenarios where cover does and doesn’t apply. Some areas to consider include airline/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. For example:

  • What financial penalties are there for cancelling your accommodation or transport and does it change over time towards the date of your booking?
  • Under what circumstances would they grant you a refund for cancelling.
  • The value of refunds your service providers, such as your hotel or airline, would give you if they or you have to cancel your booking. You can also check if they would give you the opportunity to reschedule your booking or give you a voucher when refunds are not an option.

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 will need so that you can collect it at the time.

Baggage and personal belongings

Check your policy for details. There is usually a maximum amount that can be claimed for a single item and also 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. In case of lost or stolen baggage, the insurers might ask for proof of belongings and these will be handy then.

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 as long as 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 first.

Activities

You must check the list of activities covered by the policy and only plan activities that are covered by your insurance policy. Also follow Girlguiding’s activity requirements.

Coronavirus and pandemics

For the next few years, it’s likely there will be a variety of different Covid-19 restrictions on policies. It’s important that you understand what you have cover for and are not covered for and make sure that this is clear to all participants and parents/carers so that they understand the risks.

The different scenarios and cover should be included in your risk assessment, including what happens if someone cannot attend or needs medical treatment while on the trip.

If you’re making a claim, make sure you follow the instructions on how to make a claim on your policy document.

Contact our Insurance team

For more information, please contact our Insurance team, either by telephone on 0845 260 1053 or by emailing [email protected].

Arrange travel insurance with 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 telephone on 0345 040 7704 or by email on [email protected].

Email Unity Insurance Services

Email Unity Insurance Services

Email Unity Insurance Services