Travel Insurance for Channel Islands or Isle of Man is advisable.  Although a reciprocal healthcare agreement with the UK exists in some cases, this does not extend to costs associated with medical repatriation.  With the islands being so close to home, short breaks to the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey, Sark, Herm, Alderney) and the Isle of Man are popular.  A reciprocal healthcare agreement between Jersey and the UK was revoked in 2009 but reinstated in 2011, much to the relief of all concerned!

The Channel Islands lie off the south coast of England in the English Channel, close to the north coast of France.  The islands offer plenty for visitors to do, whether you are seeking a quiet getaway or lots of exercise and adventure.  The islands boast many miles of beautiful coastline and sandy bays and beaches for walking, surfing or other water sports, or just whiling away the time.  You can explore museums and castles and learn about the fascinating history of the islands, or enjoy strolling and shopping along the many unhurried, pedestrian-only streets.  On Jersey you can trace the steps of naturalist and author Gerald Durrell and visit the Durrell Wildlife Park.  At the end of the day visit a pub or enjoy a delicious alfresco seafood meal.

The Isle of Man is about midway between the north of England and Ireland in the Irish Sea.  The island has a stunning coastline and offers plenty of activity for outdoorsy types.  It is home of the famous Isle of Man TT (Isle of Man Tourist Trophy), a motorcycle road race event held every year during late May/early June, as well as the Manx Grand Prix Festival.   If you hadn’t guessed, it is also famous for the Manx cat - a breed with a short or nonexistent tail.  The Isle of Man has plenty to tempt visitors, with its heritage railways, wildlife watching and great seafood dining.  History buffs can learn about Manx history and Vikings and Celts and pay a visit to ancient castles and forts.

UK residents visiting the Channel Islands or Isle of Man may have access to free medical care (where a reciprocal agreement exists – check for the current rules) but the agreements do not include costs associated with medical repatriation (if this should become necessary).  The same applies to residents of the Islands when visiting the UK, so it is important to take out travel insurance to pick up any (covered) costs that are not included.  Don’t forget to declare all pre-existing medical conditions when purchasing travel insurance.   The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man because the islands are not part of the EU.  However, Single trip travel insurance for UK residents visiting the islands is very cheap and provides the peace of mind of cover for lost or stolen luggage, cancellation, as well as many other benefits of insurance.  A multi-trip policy works out even cheaper for those who plan to take several trips in a year.

The islands are easy to reach by air or ferry.  If you decide to take your car by ferry remember to check that your breakdown cover is current.

Note: if you are wondering, the Isle of Wight (off the south coast of England) is part of mainland UK and residents do not need travel insurance.  However, all the benefits of an annual travel insurance policy still apply for cancellation, loss or theft of luggage, etc. while travelling within the UK - as long as accommodation is pre-booked for two or more nights.

Flickr cc: heatheronhertravels (Dixcart Bay, Sark)

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