Coronavirus update (May 2020): Virgin Money has temporarily paused new travel insurance sales in light of the coronavirus situation. Existing policies are still valid, and those with an annual policy will be offered a renewal. For questions, contact their general enquiries line at 0330 400 1250.
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Virgin Money offers solid value across a number of travel insurance plans that cater to a range of needs, from those on a budget up through premium holiday cover. All plans include the three critical aspects of holiday cover: Cancellation, Emergency Medical and Baggage. Plus, you'll get cover for Delayed Departure and Scheduled Airline Failure on most plans, and Winter Sports included on most Annual, Multi-Trip policies. Read our review to learn about features and prices of Virgin Money travel insurance—plus we'll explain the main differences between buying direct from the Virgin Money site versus buying through a comparison site like our travel insurance partner Compare Cover, to help you decide where to buy.
- Virgin Money Overall Review
- Virgin Money Price Comparison
- How Virgin Money Plans Differ on Comparison Sites
- Virgin Money Features, Policy Limits and Coverage Options
- Virgin Money Policy Wording
There is no "best" travel insurance—the best 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 narrow your choices.
Virgin Money Travel Insurance Review: What You Need to Know
Virgin Money offers a series of holiday cover plans for reasonable prices, to suit those wanting a budget plan with £2,000 of Cancellation and £1,250 of Baggage all the way up to those with more luxury holidays needing up to £7,500 for Cancellation and £2,500 of Baggage cover per person.
The cheapest Virgin Money travel insurance is the "Essential Plus" plan, which is only available through comparison sites. The top-tier plan is the "Black" plan, and this is only available directly from Virgin Money. Here's a high-level overview of their plans:
|Plan Names||Cover Limits|
|From Comparison Sites||Direct from Virgin Money||Medical Expenses||Cancellation||Baggage|
Trip Cancellation, Emergency Medical, Legal Assistance, Personal Accident and Personal Belongings/Baggage are included on all policies—as are Scheduled Airline Failure and Supplier Insolvency. All but the Essential Plus plan include Missed Departure and Baggage Delay cover. If you want protection against natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions (including volcanic ash clouds), hurricanes, etc. then you'll need to buy the optional Travel Disruption cover for an added cost on plans bought direct from Virgin Money.
Like many other travel cover plans, kids go free (up to 3 children under the age of 18, per insured adult).
For those heading to the slopes, Winter Sports is included in Annual, Multi-Trip policies (except Essential Plus plans) and can be added for an additional cost to Essential Plus and Single Trip plans. In terms of other travel insurance add-ons, cruise-specific cover is not an option on Virgin Money travel insurance, so if you're going on a cruise you may want to consider other holiday cover providers for access to features like Cabin Confinement, Unused Excursions and Missed Port.
Does Virgin Money Travel Insurance Cover Trips in the UK? Holidays in your home area are covered under Virgin Money policies, so long as there is a minimum of 25 miles radius between your home and your pre-arranged and booked accommodation. However, there is no cover under the Medical, Hospital Benefit, Trip Abandonment, Departure Delay or Missed Departure in the UK.
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, Virgin Money 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.
How do Virgin Money Travel Insurance Prices Compare?
Virgin Money travel insurance premiums are in line with market averages. Only Virgin's top-tier Gold and Black plans cost more than the average cost of holiday cover (shown by yellow bars in the charts below), whether you're travelling to geographies like Europe or America. Given that Baggage is covered on all plans and Winter Sports are covered on Annual, Multi-Trip for Red plans and above, we think Virgin Money offers solid value for money.
However, 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 about the travel insurance market; your quotes may reflect a large degree of variation.
Buying Direct vs Using a Comparison Site
There are two ways to buy a Virgin Money travel insurance policy: direct from Virgin Money or via a comparison site such as our partner Compare Cover. Broadly speaking, the cheapest plan is Essential Plus which is only available from comparison sites; the plan with the highest cover is the Black plan, only available from Virgin Money direct.
There are pros and cons to both sources in terms of features and price points. We'll try to explain the differences to help you understand whether buying direct or through an aggregator (e.g., a comparison site) better suits your individual needs. Here is a quick, high-level recap of what's on offer from each place, listed from budget to premium cover:
|Plan Names||Cover Limits|
|From Comparison Sites||Direct from Virgin Money||Medical Expenses||Cancellation||Baggage|
Virgin’s lowest tier plans available through the Direct route and Aggregation sites ("Red" and "Essential Plus," respectively) initially appear the same because they sport identical limits across the major cover categories of Medical, Cancellation and Baggage. However, a closer look at the finer detail reveals that the comparison site's Essential Plus plan has lower limits than the Red plan in some sub categories, as you can see in the table below.
|Hospital benefit||£20 for every 24 hours up to £1,000||£10 per day up to £1500|
|Loss of limbs or sight (aged under 66)||£20,000||£5,000|
|Permanently disabled (aged under 66)||£20,000||£5,000|
|Single article, pair or set limit||£200||£150|
|Valuables limit in total||£200||£150|
|Baggage delay||£25/12 hours for purchases made up to £75||n/a|
|Abandoning your trip||£2,000||n/a|
|Delayed departure||£20/first 12 hours, £10/all other 12 hours up to £200||n/a|
If the lower limits of the Essential Plus plan are good enough for your needs then you can probably save money buying through the comparison site because our research revealed that the cost of Virgin Money's budget cover can easily be 40% to 50% cheaper when buying through the comparison site—that is, Essential Plus plans are consistently cheaper than Red plans.
According to our research, you should pay the same premium for a Silver or a Gold plan regardless of where you buy it. Virgin Money's lowest tier plans (either Red bought direct or Essential Plus bought via a comparison site), however, are not the same price although they broadly offer the same high level cover limits. We found that Essential Plus plans are easily 40% to 50% cheaper than the similar Red plans.
Benefits of Buying Direct
For the most part, those buying a Silver or a Gold policy, will get the same features regardless of where the policy is purchased. However, those buying direct will have the added feature of cover for UK Rehabilitation (e.g., physiotherapy or chiropractic services needed once you return to the UK for an accident or illness that was a valid claim/happened during your trip). As you can receive medical treatment on the NHS once you're home, we're not sure how much value this creates. (UK Rehabilitation is not included on Red plans, therefore you don't get this benefit when buying low-tier travel cover direct vs. through a comparison site.)
Another feature you can add for an extra cost when buying direct is Travel Disruption cover to protect against the effects of natural disaster or civil unrest. This would cost around £13.50 for a 35-year-old individual traveller buying an Annual, Multi-Trip plan with Worldwide cover. Policies purchased via comparison sites do not offer optional cover for natural disasters or civil unrest.
Travel Disruption (Optional on Plans Purchased Direct)
|Extended delayed departure cover||Up to £1,000|
|Extended missed departure cover||Up to £500|
|Extended accommodation cover||Up to £1,000|
Benefits of Buying via Comparison Site
If you're after a budget travel insurance plan, the cheapest holiday cover from Virgin Money is the Essential Plus plan, which is available only on comparison sites like Compare Cover. Depending on details like geographic cover, you can save 40% to 50% or even more with the Essential Plus instead of buying the low-tier Red plan direct from Virgin Money. As discussed above, however, there are slightly lower sub limits in some categories of cover with Essential Plus.
Types of Virgin Money Travel Insurance Policies
Virgin Money offers five tiers of travel insurance—Essential Plus, Red, Silver, Gold and Black. Essential Plus, Silver and Gold can be purchased on a comparison site; Red, Silver, Gold and Black are available direct from Virgin Money. All policies include Emergency Medical, Baggage and Cancellation/Curtailment.
Winter Sports cover can be added to Single Trip plans for an additional cost but is INCLUDED in Annual, Multi-Trip plans.
The upper age limits vary depending on whether you buy direct or through an aggregator site. Low-tier Essential Plus and Red plans are open to those up to the age of 65. Silver and Black plans have no age limit when bought direct, but an upper age limit of 85 years when purchased via an aggregator site.
Age Limits When You Take Out a Virgin Money Travel Insurance Policy
|Policy Type||Comparison Site||Direct|
|Red/Essential Plus||Up to Age 65||Up to Age 65|
|Silver||Up to Age 85||No upper age limit|
|Gold||Up to Age 85||No upper age limit|
|Black||n/a||No upper age limit|
While you can take as many trips as you want each year with a Virgin Money Annual, Multi-Trip policy, there are limits on trip length, depending on your age.
Virgin Money Trip Lengths Vary According to Age and Policy Type
|Policy Type||Max Trip Length|
|65 years old or younger||Aged 66 to 75||Aged 76+||Winter Sports Cover|
|Red/Essential Plus||31 days||31 days||17 days||10 days|
|Silver||45 days||31 days||17 days||17 days|
|Gold||90 days||31 days||17 days||24 days|
|Black||90 days||31 days||17 days||24 days|
Cover Limits per Insured Traveller
|Maximum Amounts Insured||Essential Plus||Red||Silver||Gold||Black|
|Hospital benefit||£10/24 hours up to £1,500||£20/24 hours up to £1,000||£20/24 hours up to £1,000||£30/24 hours up to £1,500||£40/24 hours up to £2,000|
|Delayed baggage, up to||n/a||£75||£100||£200||£300|
|Delayed departure, up to||n/a||£200||£300||£400||£500|
|Trip cut short||£2,000||£2,000||£3,000||£5,000||£7,500|
|Mobiles||Not included||Not included||Not included||Not included||Not included|
Gadget and Valuables Extension:
Prior to leaving your home area, if you pay the appropriate extra premium Virgin Money can extend your cover to:
|Gadget and Valuables extended cover 1000||Up to £1,000||£50 (£75 for loss)|
|Single article, pair or set limit||£500|
|Gadget and Valuables extended cover 2000||Up to £2,000||£50 (£75 for loss)|
|Single article, pair or set limit||£1,000|
Here are some highlights of features available on Virgin Money travel insurance policies. Standard features like Medical and Personal Liability are also included on Virgin Money policies, limits for which can be found below in the Policy Limits section. For more complete details like inner limits and exclusions, please refer to the policy documents.
|Virgin Money Travel Insurance Features|
|Trip Cancellation||On all plans, cover for travel and accommodation expenses that you have paid or have agreed to pay under a contract and which you cannot get back, including any local prepaid excursions, tours or activities, if you cannot avoid cancelling or cutting your trip short; reasonable extra travel costs if necessary to cut short your trip; valid reasons include death or illness, redundancy, home damage, court cases, etc. (Theft or loss of passports/travel documents is not a valid reason to claim under cancellation.)|
|Travel Delay||Cover on Red, Silver, Gold and Black plans for every full 12 hour delay should you eventually go on the trip, for booked outward or final return international journeys (by aircraft, ship, cruise ship, coach or cross-channel train) that are delayed because of a strike or industrial action, poor weather conditions or a mechanical breakdown|
|Trip Abandonment||Cover on Red, Silver, Gold and Black plans, if you have to abandon your outward trip as a result of a delay of at least 24 hours where the delay has been caused by strike or industrial action, poor weather conditions or a mechanical breakdown, Virgin Money will pay for your unused travel and accommodation expenses, including any local prepaid excursions, tours or activities, up to the limits after any amount that you can get back is taken off.|
|Missed Departure||For Red, Silver, Gold and Black policies, cover for the extra reasonable costs of travel and accommodation you need to continue your trip if you cannot reach the original departure point of your trip on the outward or final return journey, as a result of public transport services failing (due to poor weather conditions, a strike, industrial action or a mechanical breakdown) or the vehicle you are travelling in being stuck in traffic, involved in an accident or having a mechanical breakdown. (Does not include your vehicle running out of petrol, oil or water, or having a flat tyre or battery.)|
|Catastrophe||Natural disasters and civic unrest are not covered as standard. However, delays or trip abandonment (and in some cases missed departure) due to poor weather conditions may be covered. If you buy direct, then there's an option to buy an add on for Travel Disruption, which would cover claims arising directly or indirectly from a natural disaster or civil unrest for Delayed departure or abandoning your trip, Missed departure and Accommodation cover.|
|Travel Disruption||Optional upgrade on plans bought direct from Virgin Money; Extends Delayed Departure, Missed Departure and Accommodation cover in the event of a natural disaster or civil unrest|
|Scheduled Airline Failure||Included on all plans|
|Financial Failure/Insolvency||Cover for Gold (through a comparison site) or Silver, Gold or Black (purchased direct) for the irrecoverable loss of unused pre-paid expenses as a result of insolvency or financial failure of a company for the following services associated with your trip booked independently by you (not part of a tour operator's package): Short let holiday accommodation providers (including hotels), Car hire operators, Ferry operators, Coach operators, Train operators|
|Golf||OPTIONAL add on for direct plans or Gold plans purchased from a comparison site|
|Cruise||NO cruise specific cover (e.g., Cabin confinement, Emergency airlift to hospital, Missed port, Unused excursion)|
|Winter Sports||INCLUDED on Annual, Multi-Trip plans with varying levels of cover; OPTIONAL extra on Single Trip plans|
|Personal Belongings/Baggage||Personal belongings and baggage cover included on all policies; possible 10% deduction for age, wear and tear|
|Scuba Diving||Covered up to a depth of 30 metres (qualified divers)|
Bottom Line: We like that all Virgin Money plans include Baggage, which is the most common reason to claim on holiday cover. A range of reasonably-priced plans mean there's cover for a variety of customer profiles, from those heading on a cheap and cheerful holiday in the sun to those who have more at risk for a premium holiday.