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General travel insurance questions

Sometimes buying insurance can feel confusing, and there can be a lot to take in. When you contact us, we’ll always answer any questions you might have. We’ve also included some information below to answer any general questions about travel insurance.

If you have questions about InsureandGo policies specifically, please read our Frequently asked questions.

Why is travel insurance important?

Travel insurance is important to provide assistance while abroad and to ensure you’re not left out of pocket should something unexpected happen. Medical expenses abroad can be particularly high, and it’s essential to be protected against these costs if you become ill or get injured while on holiday.

What is not covered by travel insurance?

While each policy and provider will have different sections it can and cannot cover, there are some general things no travel insurance will cover. For example, events or reasons to claim which took place before you booked the trip or the insurance was purchased cannot be covered. Insurance exists to cover unexpected events outside of the insured’s control.

Insurance will also not cover claims which are less than the excess for that section of cover. For example, you cannot claim a £40 lost item if your baggage excess is £60.

What should travel insurance cover?

In general, travel insurance should cover the following events at a minimum.

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Cover to return you to the UK if medically necessary
  • Cancellation for reasons outside of your control
  • Cutting your trip short for reasons outside of your control
  • Lost, stolen or damaged items, including baggage, passports and money

You may have specific cover needs for your trip, and you should ensure that these are also covered before you buy your policy.

What to look for in travel insurance?

Different travel insurance providers offer varying levels of cover, so think about your trip and how much protection you will need. For example:

  • Cancellation cover: Are the limits high enough to cover the cost of your trip?
  • Medical expenses: Does the provider offer a high level of cover and have a 24/7 emergency helpline?
  • Baggage cover: Will the baggage cover limits cover the cost of your belongings if they’re lost or stolen?
  • Sports and activities: Does the provider offer cover for any activities you’ll be taking part in?

What is excess in travel insurance?

An excess is the first amount of any claim which is not covered by your insurance. For example, if your policy had a £50 excess and you made a valid £300 cancellation claim, you would get back £250. Excesses usually apply per person and to each section of the policy you are claiming under.

What does curtailment mean in travel insurance?

Curtailment means cutting short your trip and returning home early. Most travel insurance will cover curtailment for various reasons, such as having to return due to an emergency at home or a close relative becoming unexpectedly unwell.

Can I get travel insurance during Covid-19?

Yes. Policies are still available during Covid-19. However, cover for claims related to Coronavirus is likely to be limited and may be subject to restrictions. You should check with your provider to understand what is covered and what isn’t.

Will travel insurance cover flight cancellation due to Covid?

Travel insurance will not usually cover an airline cancelling a flight due to Covid-19. Generally, when an airline cancels a flight, they are responsible for compensating the passengers or offering a suitable alternative. If the airline has cancelled your flight, you should contact them in the first instance.

Can I cancel my travel insurance if I cancel my trip?

Travel insurance comes with a ‘cooling off’ period, during which you can cancel your policy. You may get a partial refund if you want to cancel outside of this period. You also cannot cancel a policy if you have made a claim, so be sure you do not need to claim before you cancel your policy.

Does travel insurance cover self-cancellation?

Travel insurance does not cover self-cancellation unless the reason for cancellation is covered within your policy terms and conditions. You cannot claim if you cancel because you changed your mind, but you may be able to claim if you cancel due to a medical condition following the advice of a medical professional.

Does travel insurance cover flight cancellation?

This will vary depending on your provider, level of cover, and the reason for the cancellation. Some policies will include cover for flight cancellation for specific reasons, such as being delayed for over 24 hours or you being medically advised not to travel. If the airline cancels your flight, they are usually responsible for either compensation or providing an alternative, so you should contact them rather than your travel insurer.

Do travel insurance providers check medical records?

Most providers will only request access to your medical records if you need to make a claim for which your medical history is relevant, such as for medical expenses or cancellation due to a medical condition.

Do you have to declare illness for travel insurance?

Yes, you always need to declare any pre-existing conditions before buying your policy. Different providers may have different screening processes and ask slightly different questions, but they always need to be told about your medical conditions before they agree to cover you. Not declaring an illness that you know about could invalidate your policy.

Does travel insurance cover you if you change your mind?

No. Travel insurance will only cover cancelling your trip if you cannot go for reasons beyond your control. This does not include changing your mind regarding a trip.

Does travel insurance cover death?

Most policies will cover returning your body to the UK should you die overseas. However, many will only cover this if the cause of death is an accident or due to a condition unknown at the time of purchase or declared before buying your policy. Some providers will also cover cancellation should a close relative unexpectedly die before or during your trip.

What are the covered reasons for trip cancellation?

This will vary from provider to provider, so it is worth checking the policies you are considering. In general, however, most providers will cover trip cancellation for reasons beyond your control, such as being medically unable to travel, following the advice of a medical professional, or being called for jury service.

Can you add travel insurance after booking?

Yes, travel insurance can be bought either before or after you book your holiday. However, it is always advisable to arrange insurance as soon as possible after booking to ensure you’re covered if you unexpectedly have to cancel your trip.

Do I need to show my travel Insurance at the airport?

Some destinations may require you to show proof of travel insurance before they’ll allow you into the country. Check the FCDO website for entry requirements for your destination before you travel.

When to buy travel insurance?

You need to buy your travel insurance before you leave the UK, as it’s not usually possible to start a policy once you’re already abroad. Ideally, you should arrange cover as soon as you know you’ll be travelling to make sure you’ll be covered if you unexpectedly have to cancel before you go.

Can I buy travel insurance the day before my trip?

Yes, you can buy travel insurance at any point before you leave the UK. However, it’s always advisable to arrange your insurance as soon as you know you’ll be travelling to make sure you’ll be covered if you unexpectedly have to cancel your trip.

How much does travel insurance cost?

The price of travel insurance will vary depending on factors such as your age, where you’re travelling, how long for and whether you have any medical conditions. The price may also be higher if you have to add extra cover for things such as winter sports or cruises.

It’s always worth comparing prices between different travel insurance providers, but make sure you compare the cover levels offered as well as the cost.

When should you start your travel insurance?

Ideally, you should buy travel insurance as soon as you have booked your holiday. For single trip policies, the start date should be your departure date, and cancellation cover will be in place from the date of purchase. With annual multi-trip travel insurance, cancellation cover only begins from the start date of your policy, so you should consider starting the policy as soon as you buy to ensure you’re covered. In both cases, if you start your policy after you leave the UK, you will likely invalidate your policy.

Is it worth it to buy flight insurance?

While it is up to you if you buy flight insurance, the cost of the insurance is usually much less than the costs you may face if you need to cancel.

How long do travel insurance claims take?

The length of time to deal with a travel insurance claim will vary between providers and depend on the claim’s complexity. Sometimes, claims handlers require additional information or medical reports, which can delay payment. To help your claim progress as quickly as possible, gather together all necessary documents, such as invoices or receipts, and submit them along with your claim form.

Why would a travel insurance claim be denied?

There are various reasons why a claim might be denied. Travel insurance always contains general exclusions, such as for events known about when booking your trip or buying your policy, which wouldn’t be covered. It’s also essential to make sure you give the insurer the correct information, such as where you’re travelling or any medical conditions you have, to ensure you have the right cover.

If you have any further questions, please contact the provider you are considering for your travel insurance, and they can provide specific details for their policies.