Sainsbury's Bank Travel Insurance Review: The Features You Need?

Sainsbury's Bank Travel Insurance Review: The Features You Need?

Extra perks like Scheduled Airline Failure, Delayed Departure and Trip Abandonment, plus longer trip lengths make this an interesting option to consider.

Good for

  • Baggage, Scheduled Airline Failure, Delayed Departure and Trip Abandonment on all plans
  • Longer trip lengths
  • Extended Gadget cover available

Bad for

  • No travel disruption cover

Editor's Rating


The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Not only can you buy groceries from Sainsbury's, but you can also buy protection for your holidays with travel insurance from Sainsbury's Bank. Their comprehensive cover includes the standard Baggage, Emergency Medical and Cancellation, plus you'll get cover for Scheduled Airline Failure, Delayed Departure and Trip Abandonment on all plans. Read our review to learn about Sainsbury's Bank travel insurance features and prices.

If you're ready to compare prices or make a travel insurance purchase, get quotes from Sainsbury's and nearly 20 other brands by clicking the blue "Get Quotes" button below—their panel includes Sainsbury's Bank, as well as a number of travel insurance providers that will cover coronavirus.

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Choosing the best travel insurance for you will depend on factors like price points and features that you might find valuable. Please use the information in this review to help you understand the nuances of various plans to help you narrow down your options. In our review we also explain the main differences between buying direct from the Sainsbury's Bank website versus buying through a comparison site, to help you decide where to buy—essentially, you'll miss out on a few coverage features buying from a comparison site but that's where you'll get the cheapest prices.

Sainsbury's Bank Travel Insurance Review: What You Need to Know

Sainsbury's Bank offers a range of holiday cover plans to suit a variety of budgets and coverage needs, from those looking to cover a cheap-and-cheerful holiday with a budget option for a cost less than £10, up to those needing insurance for more valuable holidays worth up to £7,500.

There are basically two ways to buy Sainsbury's holiday cover—direct from their website or from a comparison site. What's the main difference? Basically, the plans offered from comparison sites are cheaper and, as a result, provide lower cover limits and have higher excess levels—that said, the most premium plan available from comparison sites ("Premier") offers higher limits across some categories than the cheapest plan available direct ("Silver"), despite a lower price (e.g., Premier offers £5k of Cancellation cover per insured person, but the Silver plan only provides £3k of Cancellation cover).

The Sainsbury's plan with the highest cover (£7.5k Cancellation and £3,000 of Baggage) is the Platinum plan, which is available direct from the Sainsbury's Bank website. Therefore, broadly speaking, those needing this level of cover would be best served buying the Platinum plan direct from the Sainsbury's website. Those who don't need that much cover may very well find a cheaper deal from a comparison site. But see below to understand some of the other differences between plans bought direct or from a comparison site.

Those going on a cruise can get cover for cabin confinement, emergency airlift to hospital, missed port and unused excursions. To learn more about market prices please see our article Average Cost of Cruise Travel Insurance UK.

Are Mobile Phones Covered? Mobile phones are covered (up to £500 or £750) on all plans bought direct through Gadget Cover. If you buy through a comparison site you can add Optional Gadget cover to any policy to get £1k, £2k or £3k of total gadget cover (max £500, £750 or £1,000 per item), depending on the plan. This will cost you on the order of £12 to £64, depending on level of cover and type of plan. Similarly, the regular Gadget cover that's already included on plans bought direct can be increased to these higher levels, but it will cost a bit more than on the comparison site—between £10 and £82.

PlansAdd-On Gadget Cover LimitPer Item LimitSingle Trip Add-on CostAnnual, Multi-trip Add-on Cost
Direct from Sainsbury's BankSilver£1,000£500£10£26
From Compare Cover comparison siteEssential£1,000£500£12£21

To see a list of other companies that offer a gadget travel insurance add on please see our article, Travel Insurance Companies with Optional Gadget Cover.


Does Sainsbury's Bank Travel Insurance Cover Trips in the UK? Holidays in the UK are covered under Sainsbury's Bank Annual, Multi-trip policies, so long you have pre-booked accommodation for a minimum of 2 nights.

Who underwrites Sainsbury's travel insurance? Sainsbury's Bank travel insurance (single trip, extended stay and annual, multi-trip policies) are underwritten by ERGO Travel Insurance Services Ltd (ETI) on behalf of Great Lakes Insurance SE (GLISE).

Does Sainsbury's travel insurance cover pre-existing conditions? As part of the online application you'll be asked a series of brief medical questions. If you have a medical condition, Sainsbury's Bank may be able to offer cover for some pre-existing medical conditions, for which you'll probably be required to pay a higher premium. Pre-existing conditions are only covered if they've been fully declared, accepted and paid for.

Is Sainsburys travel insurance any good? Mixed customer reviews point to good value for money on the plus side but some customers report not receiving their policy documents quickly, which can lead to stress wondering if you're covered. For these reasons, it's probably a good idea to get a quote for your trip to see what they'll offer, but don't buy the policy at the last second before you travel.

Can I get travel insurance from Sainsburys? Yes, you can buy travel insurance from Sainsbury's, which is underwritten by ERGO Travel Insurance Services Ltd (ETI) on behalf of Great Lakes Insurance SE (GLISE).

Does Sainsbury's travel insurance cover cruises? According to the Policy Booklet from their website, cruise cover can be added as an optional extra to SINGLE TRIP cover only.

How much compensation does Sainsbury's travel insurance give for a delayed flight? If you've been delayed at your point of departure and have travelled there and checked-in, you can receive compensation for each full 12 hour delay depending on the level of cover: £25 per 12 hours (max £250) on Silver, £35 per 12 hours (max £350) on Gold or £50 per 12 hours (max £500) on Platinum; or £25 per 12 hours (max £300) on Essential, £35 per 12 hours (max £500) on Standard or £50 per 12 hours (max £500) on Premier plans from comparison sites. (The max cover for comparison site policies increased up in their September 2023 policy update.)

Is Sainsbury's travel insurance on comparison websites? Yes, Sainsbury's travel insurance is available on many travel insurance comparison engines.

Sainsbury's Bank Customer Reviews

Is Sainsbury's travel insurance really any good? The best way to get a feel is to see what real customers have to say. We've dug through hundreds of online customer reviews to look for common complaints or problems, and to find out what customers really like about the product and service.

Sainsbury's Bank Travel Insurance Trustpilot

Sainsbury's Bank has a trust score of 4.1 out of 5 from over 13742 customers at Truspilot—that's a pretty strong score, but it reflects all of Sainsbury's Bank, not just the travel insurance part of their business. After reading through the reviews to pick out those related to travel insurance, it seems that the most common complaint is not getting the policy documents in a timely manner, leading to policyholders being uncertain if they had cover or not. On the plus side, customers seem happy with the price they paid for the coverage levels.

Here is a sample of the positive reviews of Sainsbury's travel insurance on Trustpilot:

"Chose Sainsburys travel insurance as they had the most competitive price for what they offered me!"

"Sainsbury provide great cover for all my uk and foreign travel. The double nectar points whilst my annual policy was running was a great bonus on my weekly shopping and petrol, and they kept me up to date on offers and expiration dates of my cover!"

"No problems. Had to change my dates of travel,very good service."

And some negative reviews:

"Was never sent my travel insurance so had to go and buy some from another provider—waste of money."

"I didn't receive any policy documents, no contact whatsoever until the day of my return. Very worrying not to know I was covered."

"Didn't pay out after a holiday in Paris was cancelled due to strike action."

We should point out that strikes are usually excluded from travel insurance cover, regardless of the brand.

How do Sainsbury's Bank Prices Compare

Generally speaking, holiday cover from Sainsbury's Bank is around the average cost of travel insurance, with policies bought from a comparison site coming in below average and plans bought direct from Sainsbury's Bank coming in above the average cost, regardless of whether your travel plans will take to you Europe, America or elsewhere, as you can see in the following chart.

chart showing prices of Virgin Money travel insurance plans compared to the market average

Nectar cardholders can get a 20% discount on direct policies, making the plans from the Sainsbury's Bank website even more attractive. This discount does not apply to the premium for pre-existing medical conditions and enhanced gadget cover.

Insurance quotes can vary significantly from day to day and according to each individual's details, so please just use this data for general educational purposes only; your quotes may reflect a large degree of variation.

Cost of Sainsbury's Travel Insurance Add-Ons

per insured personEssentialStandardPremierSilverGoldPlatinum
Winter Sports
Worldwide excl. USA, CAN, Carib.£11£13£17£28£33£45
Worldwide excl. USA, CAN, Carib.£12£18£22£10£13£22
Worldwide excl. USA, CAN, Carib.n/an/an/a£6£7£9
Worldwide excl. USA, CAN, Carib.£4£4£6£10£12£16
Winter Sports
Worldwide excl. USA, CAN, Carib.£10£12£17£17£21£30
Worldwide excl. USA, CAN, Carib.£21£36£64£26£38£82
Worldwide excl. USA, CAN, Carib.n/an/an/a£6£7£10
Worldwide excl. USA, CAN, Carib.n/an/a£-n/an/an/a

According to our research, the average cost of optional Gadget travel cover in the market is around £35 for Annual, Multi-trip policies and £13.50 for Single Trip policies, providing around £1,500 of total gadget cover on average.

Buying Direct vs Using a Comparison Site

Generally speaking, the cheapest Sainsbury's Bank holiday cover plans are available through comparison sites, whereas the plan with the highest cover is available direct from the Sainsbury's Bank website. Beyond that, there are pros and cons to both sources in terms of features and price points. We'll try to explain some of the differences to help you decide whether buying direct or through an aggregator comparison site better suits your particular needs. Below, you'll find a table detailing the differences in Standard excess, upper age limits and maximum trip lengths. You'll notice that these details are generally more favourable on plans bought direct rather than from a comparison site—depending on your needs and situation, these details may or may not be worth the added cost to you.

Differences between Direct and Comparison Site Policies

DirectComparison Site
Standard Excess£100£50nil£150£95£70
Upper Age Limit—Single Tripno upper age limitno upper age limitno upper age limit85 years85 years85 years
Upper Age Limit—Annul, Multi-Trip80 years80 years80 years75 years75 years75 years
Maximum Days per Trip—Annual62 days62 days92 days22 days32 days45 days
Maximum Days per Trip—Single94 days94 days94 days94 days94 days94 days
Maximum Winter Sports24 days24 days24 days24 days24 days24 days

Buying Sainsbury's Bank Direct

The travel insurance plans bought directly from Sainsbury's Bank offer a few perks not available on comparison sites, such as and some Gadget cover (to help protect your mobile phone, etc.).

There are higher age limits on direct plans—those up to age 80 can buy/renew an Annual, Multi-trip policies; there is no upper age limit on Single trips bought direct. (But expect higher prices for older travellers.)

Buying Sainsbury's Bank via Comparison Site

Generally speaking, the lowest prices on Sainsbury's Bank travel insurance can be found using a travel insurance comparison. In fact, Sainsbury's three comparison site plans (Essential, Standard and Premier) are generally cheaper than the cheapest direct plan (Silver). If price is your priority, then buying from a comparison site will likely secure you the lowest premium on a Sainsbury's travel plan.

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Despite the comparison plans coming in at cheaper prices, they still include some level of cover for Baggage Delay, Abandoning your Trip, Scheduled Airline Failure and (except Essential plans) Missed Departure. While Gadget cover isn't included, it can be purchased as an add-on extra for £12 to £62, providing up to £1k, £2k or £3k of total gadget cover (max £500, £750 or £1,000 per item) depending on the plan. However there's no Travel Disruption cover and the excess is a bit higher on comparison site plans.

Bottom Line: If you're looking for a budget plan, compare travel insurance to see three different Sainsbury's Bank holiday cover plans with prices typically ranging from £9 up to £75 (for a healthy, 35-year-old, individual traveller), depending on geography and level of cover (Cancellation from £1,500 to £5,000). Those looking to insure more valuable holidays worth up to £7,500 might find a more suitable policy buying direct from Sainsbury's Bank, but expect prices to be up to 1.6X higher for the added cover of the top-tier direct Platinum plan (versus the top-tier comparison site Premier plan).

Types of Sainsbury's Bank Travel Insurance Policies

Direct from their website, Sainsbury's Bank offers three tiers of travel insurance—Silver, Gold and Platinum. From comparison sites they offer three different plans, which provide lower levels of cover as you can see in the following table—Essential, Standard and Premier. All are available for Single Trips or as Annual, Multi-Trip policies.

They've recently upped a few limits on their comparison site policies—notably increasing the total amount of travel delay benefit they'll pay. See the new limits in the table below.

Sainsbury's Bank Travel Insurance Cover Limits

Key Benefits (up to)SilverGoldPlatinumEssentialStandardPremier
Available From Where?DirectCompare Cover
Medical emergency expenses£10 million£15 millionunlimited£10 million£12.5 million£15 million
Cancellation or cutting short your trip£3,000£5,000£7,500£1,500£3,000£5,000
Delayed departure£25 for each full 12 hour delay up to £250£35 for each full 12 hour delay up to £350£50 for each full 12 hour delay up to £500£25 for each full 12 hour delay up to £300£35 for each full 12 hour delay up to £500£50 for each full 12 hour delay up to £500
Abandoning your trip£3,000£5,000£7,500£1,500£3,000£5,000
Missed departure£300£1,000£1,250n/a£500£1,000
Personal baggage£1,250£2,000£3,000£1,000£1,500£2,000
Baggage delay£50 after first 12 hour delay up to £200£75 after first 12 hour delay up to £500£150 after first 12 hour delay up to £750£50 after first 12 hour delay up to £250£75 after first 12 hour delay up to £500£150 after first 12 hour delay up to £750
Personal accidentn/a£25,000£50,000n/a£7,000£10,000
Gadget cover£500 (can increase)£750 (can increase)£750 (can increase)optional extraup to £1,000up to £1,000
Scheduled airline failure£2,500£2,500£2,500£1,500£2,500£2,500
End supplier failuren/a£2,500£2,500n/a£2,500£2,500
Winer SportsOptional add on24 days/£400/Add on24 days/£500/Add on

Other Useful Information: Policy Wording

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.


The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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