Mar 21, 2016

Posted by in Features, Top 10s, Trip Advice | 185 Comments

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10 reasons to read your travel insurance small print

You’ve spent weeks planning your holiday, weighing up all of the options to find the perfect break for you. You’ve finally booked. Now what?

It’s time to buy your travel insurance.

OK, so this might not be the most exciting part of your getaway but it is essential to take out a comprehensive policy as soon as you book so you’re covered for everything from medical costs and lost possessions to cancellation.

And  it’s a false economy to simply opt for the cheapest policy. Instead, pay attention to the fine print and make sure you have a policy that suits your needs.

Here are 10 potential travel insurance exclusions that you should be aware of and how to prevent any nasty surprises should you have to make a claim.

Travel insurance

1. Always declare pre-existing medical conditions

When we ask for readers’ holiday questions, a common theme is often travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions. One reader, Edward, asked: “Are there any travel insurance companies that do not charge an arm and a leg for a healthy 70-year-old who had a stent fitted eight years ago, with no history of heart attacks or any other problem?”

And while it can be tempting to hide pre-existing conditions from your insurer to keep costs down or to assume that, as you haven’t had problems for a while you don’t need to disclose them, it is essential to give your insurer a true picture of your medical history.

If not and something were to happen while you were away causing you to claim, your insurer has the right to request access to your medical records. If they find anything that you haven’t declared, your claim could be deemed invalid.

And, while travellers like Edward may start to feel frustrated at some of the policy prices that can be quoted, there is no need to pay an arm and a leg for cover. TravelSupermarket has a specialist channel for those looking for travel insurance with pre-existing medical conditions so you can compare prices and policies in one place.

2. Check your policy limits

LuggageLosing a bag or having your money stolen on holiday is extremely frustrating but it would be even worse if you were to make a claim on your travel insurance only to find out you weren’t covered.

To prevent any unwanted surprises, find out how much you can claim back for lost cash, luggage and cancellation cover, and check whether there is a single item limit on your policy.

Some items, such as mobile phones, may not be covered by your travel insurance if lost – so ensure they are protected in another way if not.

And think carefully about what you have in your suitcase before you work out how much baggage cover you will need as items such as perfumes, trainers and designer clothing can soon add up.

TravelSupermarket recommends that you take out at least the following amount of cover:

  • £1,500 baggage cover
  • £250 to cover lost cash
  • £3,000 cancellation cover – or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday.

And don’t forget to check what your insurance excess is and whether this amount is per person for joint cover or per policy. We recommend looking out for a policy excess of less than £100, where possible.

3. Take reasonable care of your possessions

If you plan to take large amounts of cash away with you, or if you tend to leave cash in your room while you are out on holiday, check your policy wording carefully to find out whether you would be covered should it be lost or stolen.

Many policies will only cover theft or accidental loss of cash that went missing while on your person, or money that was locked away securely in a safety deposit box in your room.

If you were to nip out and leave some money on the side, for example, you wouldn’t be able to claim anything back for it on many policies.

4. Report any theft as soon as possible

And, just in case you are unlucky enough to have something stolen, familiarise yourself with the procedure your insurance provider would like you to follow so you can stick to it and make your claim as effortless as possible.

Many insurers specify a time period that they wish you to report a theft to the police within – usually 24 or 48 hours after the incident. If you report it later, or simply don’t get a police report, you won’t be covered.

5. Check you’re covered for an action-packed break

Winter sports cover

If you are planning on taking part in any activities while you are away – such as mountain biking, bungee jumping or quad biking – check your policy to see whether you would be covered should you have an accident.

Many insurers have a list of “hazardous” activities that they don’t cover – but what is classed as hazardous differs between providers so it’s worth checking your individual policy, even if you have been covered for the activity before.

And while you may assume this just applies to extreme sports, you may be surprised to know that you may not be insured to drive the nippy moped that you hire to get around as travel insurance policies tend to have some exclusions around two-wheeled vehicles – many specify that they won’t cover you when you ride a motorcycle over 125cc.

Winter sports cover is also often not included within a standard travel insurance policy, so if you are planning a ski trip or a snowboarding holiday, check whether you need to add this on.

6. Avoid incidents involving alcohol or non-prescription drugs

Holiday party

Research from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) found that most insurers have exclusions around alcohol or drug-related incidents. But these exclusions vary from insurer to insurer, so read your policy carefully before you take it out to be fully aware of what you are and aren’t covered for.

For example, the insurer LV states that: “We won’t cover any claim that results because you or a travelling companion has drunk enough alcohol to result in your or their judgement being seriously affected.”

Admiral, on the other hand, excludes: “Any claim arising directly or indirectly from Your drug addiction or solvent abuse, excessive alcohol intake, being under the influence of alcohol (including but not exclusively having a blood alcohol reading of more than 150mg per 100ml) or You being under the influence of drug(s)”

7. Think about how long you’re travelling for

backpacker insurance

Whether you are planning an extended trip-of-a-lifetime or are packing your backpack for a trot around the globe, before you take a policy out, check how many consecutive days abroad you will be covered for. Limits vary from provider to provider and if you go over the time period – even by a day – your insurer won’t pay out for a claim.

8. Make sure your policy covers your destination

It may sound obvious but check that your policy covers you for the destination you are travelling to before you take it out.

Turkey and Egypt are destinations to take into careful consideration when choosing a policy as some companies such as Columbus cover travel to them under their European policies while companies including the Post Office exclude them from certain European policies.

Similarly, if you are taking out a worldwide policy and are travelling to the USA, Canada or the Caribbean, check that you have the correct worldwide cover.

9. Consider taking out missed departure cover   

Missed flights

Being stuck in traffic or on a delayed train on the way to the airport is a stressful enough start to any holiday, but did you know that many basic travel insurance policies wouldn’t cover you for new flights if you missed them through no fault of your own?

And, if your policy does cover you for missed flights, make sure you know what you will need to do to make a claim – some insurers require proof that you set out in sufficient time to make the flight while others have specified timeframes for you to lodge the claim.

10. Cover yourself for bereavement or cancellation

It is sensible to buy a travel insurance policy that covers you for cancellation at the same time as you book your holiday so you are protected should anything go wrong before your break – such as redundancy or illness. But as mentioned above, check the cancellation cover limit and what situations you would be covered for.

If you care for a close family relative and they are ill at the time you book your holiday, make sure that you declare this as, if not, and your relative was to take a turn for the worse before you jet off, you could not claim for cancellation.

And, also, check the closeness of the relative your policy would cover you for should the worse happen and you want to cancel a trip to attend a funeral.

If you are in any doubt about what you are or aren’t covered for, ask your provider before you buy a policy and carry a copy of your documentation with you while you are away so you can reference it should anything happen.

If you have already taken out a policy and find out that it isn’t suitable, you have 14 days to cancel it and to find an alternative so long as you haven’t already taken a trip.

  1. can you tell me if insurance policies cover you on excursion trips eg helicopter ride to Grand Cannion for instance kind regards

    • Hi Angela,

      Thank you for your question. If you already have travel insurance, it is worth checking your policy to see if you are covered under this. Some providers cover helicopter rides where you are a passenger but many don’t. If you policy doesn’t already cover you, try contacting your travel insurance provider to see if you can add the cover on. If not, you may be able to buy the insurance from the company you bought the helicopter ride with?

      Enjoy your trip!

  2. Bob Taylor says:

    Often go abroaad with friends making own arrangements. Always asked by insurance companies for all our detailed states of health. I’d like to keep my friends (they make their own insurance arrangements) but it seems that the insurers want to know about every member of my family in case they drop dead so that cancellation claims will not be payable. If friends couldn’t go, nor could we. Any suggestions?

  3. Bob Jones says:

    It seems to me that the insurance companies decline a lot of claims on non disclosure of pre existing medical conditions. To a lot of people something that may have occurred years ago may not seem important or they have simply forgot. Would it not be a good idea that for those that agree to obtain their own medical records and pass them to the insurer then they would have no excuse to decline a claim due to lack of information

    • insurers don’t like good ideas. they like money

      • In mu Case with holiday safe rvg the Information commussioner decided that insurer have no Right to asking for two year medical rekord.

  4. Plan Trip says:

    i didn’t consider of taking a travel insurance ever before but after reading your article .. i think its really important to have travel insurance for safety purposes. thnx for the info.

  5. Point 10 – talks about having a relative with a medical condition and being covered if you had to return/cancel if they take a turn for the worse. However I have informed my insurance company of this, my brother has kidney failure and has renal dialysis – so they have just immediately excluded any claims in connection with him and his condition. Is it possible to get cover where you declare something like this and the premium covers you for such a claim?

    • Hi Alfie,

      I’m sorry to hear about your brother’s health problems.

      Unfortunately, as far as we know, no insurers offer blanket cover for this type of claim. However, you could call prospective insurers to see whether there is any flexibility on this if you declare the condition upfront before you take a policy out.

      Let us know how you get on.


  6. K Rainbow says:

    I have just gone to renew my Columbus family annual policy and asked them to clarify their alcohol policy -? Any claim where you have consumed ANY alcohol is not valid!
    So if my husband & I shared a glass of wine over dinner and had an accident on way back to accomodation- we are not covered!
    I understand if you are drunk, but responsible drinking?
    So now shopping round for annual family policy with winter sports cover and medical declaration of nut allergy for young son – no reactions for 2 hrs + no overnight hospital stays either (for son)
    Any suggestions / advice welcome!

    • K Rainbow says:

      Meant to say no allergic reactions for 2 years!

    • Hi there

      You will find all travel insurers have a clause that rule out claims which involve you being under the influence of drink or drugs. Essentially they take a very pragmatic view of cases and what is a reasonable level of alcohol in the blood and the nature of the claim before deciding whether to reject or not.

      For a nut allergy you should find a policy that suits you for general cover and then declare that as a pre-existing medical condition by phone to check they will still cover you etc AND also do a search on policies with pre-existing medical screening such as this , delclaring the condition before you are given quotes.

      Hope that helps.


  7. Terry Wall says:

    What if all my money is stolen while on holiday, does travel insurance pay up while I’m still on holiday? Or will I be left with no funds?

    • Hi there

      Travel Inusrance policies that include money will not generally pay out while you are actually abroad. You would make a claim with the relevant evidence as detailed by your policy and then your claim would be settled to your home address. So if all your money was lost or stolen you would have to either have funds transferred abroad to you or use a card.

      So whilst you would have cover, you should always travel with some form of plastic if you are relying on cash for your main type of expenditure. You then have something to turn to in an emergency.

      Kind regards


  8. Barbara Lawrence says:

    We are booked to go on a cruise in June and I have been looking at buying travel insurance. One of the questions it now asks is if one of you has cancelled a holiday due to stress. We had to do this one year due to my husbands job. However, this was in 2003 and has not occurred since and also my husband is now retired so it will definitely not happen again. Do I still have to declare this even though the original reason has now gone? Declaring this doubles the fee so I am reluctant to pay if I don’t need to.

    • Hi there Barbara

      Our advice is to declare any medical history to the insurer. If your husband has had no treatment for many years they may well ignore this but each has a slightly different policy on this.
      If in any doubt, declare and if they add a premium to your policy to cover for this reason you can still shop around. If you don’t declare you run the risk of a claim being rejected if anything regarding the claim can be linked to a medical history.

      Kind regards


  9. John brindley says:

    It seems as though you can’t win with holiday insurance all they want is your money and try to find
    Reasons not to pay out almost everybody over 65 will be taking some sort of medication blood pressure
    Or cholesterol tablets if all over 65s did not go abroad because of these types of medication your
    Company’s woulld lose out on vast amounts of revenue

  10. Jessica Lane says:

    Great post! I think too many take travel insurance for granted and fail to acknowledge the small print- subsequently finding themselves stuck if something ever happens! the small print can make a big difference and if nothing else, might make travellers more cautious and prone to take more preventative action particularly if certain issues aren’t covered

  11. Paul Marshallsea says:

    Please can you tell me do you insure travellers to Australia for more than four months,
    Paul Marshallsea

    • Hi there Paul

      We do indeed offer price comparison on trvel insurance for trips over four months. how long are you actually going for?

      You can search for policies of up to one year in length on our comparison engine. Try a search here and compare single trip and backpacker policies for the best cover to suit your needs.

      Remember that if you are planning to work when in Australia you will need to read the t’s and c’s of any travel insurance carefully as many types of work are excluded from cover. You should also check out any activities you may be considering such as extreme sports to understand the cover you would have.

      Let us know if ou need any more assistance.

      Kind regards


  12. martin p says:

    we are two families the other family has a man who since he got travel insurance has had to go in hosp for gall bladder op do we inform insurance now as we travel as a party will it affect us ? or does the other party tell insurance that since booked hes been in hosp or is he coverd as at time of booking he had not been in hosp he has clean bill of health and is fit to travel

    • Hi there

      It would be prudent for the other family to inform their insurance company. Thi is to ensure that they would cover anything if there was any complication at a later date, requiring either medical intervention while away or for cancellation if he was not now able to travel.

      If you would definitely not travel should he fall ill and not be able to take the holiday, then you should also inform your travel insurance so that they are are aware of the situation and can advise accordingly on your policy.

      Hope that helps..

      Kind regads


  13. Maggie says:

    I have had to cancel my holiday as my travelling companion broke her ankle. When i booked the holiday i was insured and i didnt renew that policy but took out another policy with a different company who will pay my claim? Thank you

    • Hi there

      I assume that you have an annual travel policy?

      The claim should be submitted to the company who was insuring you at the point your friend broke her ankle, even if the holiday was booked prior to the date that insurance commenced.

      Hope that helps to clarify the situation.

      Kind regards


      • Alan Salsbury says:

        I was due to travel 15th November to Australia but on the 8th November I fractured my Fibula. As a result I postponed the holiday and entered a claim for the extra cost of changing the flights. In addition I had to take out another policy as the original one ran out halfway through the holiday. Are the premiums covered under the orginal policy ?

        • Hi Alan,

          Sorry to hear about your injury. Hope all is well now!

          Just so I’m clear, are these two different issues you’re talking about?



  14. Gillian says:

    Hi, my husband has recently been diagnosed with stress and anxiety, he has been given antidepressants. We are due to go on holiday on the tenth of June but are unsure whether we will be able to go depending on how he feels. I have not taken out holiday insurance yet, When I declare this to an insurance company and we do have to cancel our holiday will they pay out? Hoping it will not come to this.



    • Hi there Gillian

      Whenever you take out an inusrance policy you must declare pre-existing medical conditions known at the time of policy issue. Therefore you would need to mention your husbands condition.

      The insurer would then take a decision on whether to extend cover to you for any claim related to that condition, extend it at an additional premium or withold cover for a claim. It will vary from insurer to insurer. My advice is to try a few companies and use our online tool at to see if you can actually get cover for cancellation.

      Do let us know how you get on.

      Kind regards


  15. Graeme Davies says:

    I have booked a holiday for my family and their girlfriends and boyfriends to the USA. Is there a holiday insurance that would cover us in the event of one or more of the partners deciding not to come due to them splitting up before the holiday starts?

    • Hi there Graeme

      I am afraid we are not aware of any company that will insure you for this kind of reason. Insurers view it as being ‘no longer inclined to travel’ and do not extend cancellation cover to this kind of thing.

      Depending on who you have booked your trip with and what type of travel it is you may be able to do name changes for an administration fee and for someone else to go instead, although if you have booked your airline flights direct with the carrier this is not possible, only as part of a tour operator booking.

      You’ll have to ensure they all remain happy with each other until the trip is over.

      Hope all goes well.

      Kind regards


  16. John Sim says:

    Hi i was in australia and took chest pains abulance took me to hospital got out next day but i got a bill for $800 for ambulance, i put a claim in to my insuance company they said i must get a letter from my doctor stating i had no pre existing medical conditions, but i have to pay 25 pounds for this letter should the insurance company not pay this as its them that wants it?

  17. Hi
    Having seen a few travel insurance policies, it would seem that almost all are woefully lacking in the value of personal possessions that they cover. One was limited to just £75 in total for an under 18 year old travelling alone / with friends. Do you know of any good coverage travel policies for possessions?

  18. Tanya says:

    I was due to visit a friend in France. She has cancelled our accommodation and I can’t afford to go and pay for accommodation. Would I be covered for this?
    Thank you

    • Hi Tanya

      Its not clear what you are asking me to advise you on here. Do you mean your travel to France or for your friend cancelling accommodation?

      Generally speaking you can only claim on insurance for things like medical reasons, redundancy or being called to appear in court. Personal reasons such as one person no longer wanting to travel or just changing their mind are not insurable normally.

      Kind regards


  19. Barbara says:

    Have an annual travel insurance which limits me to 31days .Now been asked to stay 7 days extra in Canada for a wedding . I shan’t be going over 31 days for any other trips this year so could I insure those extra 7 days on a single policy with another company . Thanks

    • Hi Barbara

      Have you spoken to your existing insurer? Does this as a first port of call and see if 5they can do anything with your existing policy.

      If not you will need to buy a standalone policy for the entire trip. To my knowledge you cannot just insure for a portion of a trip and use a second policy for the other part of it.

      Let us know how you get on.

      Kind regards


  20. We both have an annual insurance policy and have now booked a holiday for June next year. The annual policy expires before then (January). Would the policy cover risks relating to the June 2016 holiday (e.g. cancellation due to illness) until the policy expires (when we would expect to renew the annual policy)?


    • Hi there Liz.

      Yes your policy should cover you in the way you describe. however to be sure, contact your insurer and ask for them to confirm this.

      Kind regards


  21. Carol says:

    Daughter has only one kidney since birth, is now 21, not or ever has undergone treatment, fit and healthy, do I need to declare this as a medical condition for travel insurance?

    • Hi Carol

      I would say if there has never been any treatment or on going medication then you should not need to declare this when buying travel insurance.

      If you are in any doubt after selecting your policy give them a quick call to verify.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind regards


  22. Marian says:

    I am trying to arrange travel insurance. I have noticed that it says “Have you or any member of your party ever been diagnosed or treated for x “. I have always taken this to mean anyone covered by this insurance, but now I am wondering if it means the people we are going on holiday with (even though they will not be on this insurance). I don’t want my insurance to be more expensive or not cover something because of something to do with a friend who happens to be coming too. Do I really have to find out all about their medical history to get MYSELF travel insurance??

    • Hi Marian

      It would only effect you if they then cancelled and you chose not to travel as a result. You would then be claiming off the back of their medical cancellation and any insurer will deem that as a risk as your travel would be dependent on them being healthy.

      You should have a discussion with the others travelling and if anything comes up ring your insurer and declare it. they will then treat it accordingly.

      Hope that helps.

      Kind regards


  23. Hi, Could someone please advice, in case of an unfortunate incident example: Plane crash – how much does the travel insurance company pays my rest of kin? I want to buy Annual travel policy but since I have two little kids just want to ensure to be prepared for worst. I want to know what sort of compensation does the travel insurance company will pay?

    Thanks for your response, in advance


    • Hi there Sat

      This will depend on what your policy states as each of them are different. Look at the sections marked Personal Accident. You can search for policies to compare here;

      If the worst was to happen you would also be likely to receive compensation from the airline concerned;

      “International flights are governed by the Montreal Convention, an international air carrier treaty adopted in 1999 by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency. If the airline is found at fault for an accident, the Montreal Convention stipulates that it is liable for up to 113,100 special “drawing rights” per passenger, a value established by the International Monetary Fund. The value changes regularly, and for now equals about £115,000 per passenger in the UK.”

      You should also consider a life insurance policy which works separately;

      Hope this helps.

      Kind regards


  24. Mark Q says:


    I am going on holiday with my wife and our 2 children who are over 18. My wife and I have a travel policy that covers us for holiday cancellation I paid for everyone and I wondered if the holiday was cancelled would the insurer pay out for the full amount or just my wife and I part?

    My children have no insurance cover at the moment.



    • Hi Mark

      An insurance policy will only pay out for the people named on the policy. So if you cancel at the moment you would only get back the amount that relates to you and your wife and not the whole cost, less any excess.

      So in order for insurance to pay out the children also need to have insurance to cover for cancellation.

      I hope that this answers your question.

      Kind regards


  25. hi I have holliday insurance with my bank we had flights only me my wife and 2 kids was flying to spain my wifes got took ill the day befor and she and kids could not traveal only I did would I be able to make a claime

    • Hi Mick

      You should check the terms and conditions of the policy you have to see if you can claim and whether your family is covered or just yourself.

      If you are unsure call the helpline number and ask for assistance. You will need to make any claim within one month of the incident.

      Let us know how you get on.



  26. Hi!

    I’m trying to find insurance for a 2 week multi-destination trip. That includes four flights in total on four separate dates. Are the continuing flights seen as connecting flights? I was hoping to find insurance that covers the usual missed departure for all these 4 flights but am not having much luck so far! Your help would be greatly appreciated :)

    • Hi Tara

      Hi there. I assume you are a UK citizen. Missed departure and travel delay on an insurance policy tends to be offered for your outward flight and your return flight but not for flights in between. Unfortunately I am not aware of a partner who covers policy holders in this way.

      Where are you actually travelling to?


      • Thanks for your message Bob,

        We are a couple (1 UK citizen, 1 UK resident) travelling to Mexico and USA with two destinations in Mexico and returning back to the UK from the US. Looks like I’ll be able to opt for a more affordable insurance then and keep my fingers crossed nothing goes wrong on our travels!

  27. Hi

    We took out what we thought was a fairly good travel insurance policy from a well-known provider, it was mid-way between their cheapest and most expensive tiers.

    My husband accidentally left his bag containing his passport on the train to the airport which prevented us from boarding our flight home. It took 24 hours to get an emergency travel document which meant we had to pay for two additional nights in a hotel plus return flights home.

    It was stressful but I thought at least we had insurance. Reading the policy we thought we could claim £100 to replace the passport plus reasonable transport and accommodation costs.

    When we tried to claim the additional costs back from the insurance company we were told the £100 INCLUDED reasonable transport and accommodation costs. We were stunned, this amount didn’t cover one night in the hotel. Even their top-tier policy only pays a maximum of £200 if a passport is lost or stolen.

    Why is the loss of a passport so under-covered? Many people may be unaware how costly it will be if this happens to them.

    We paid premiums to this company for years thinking we had peace of mind when abroad only to find the first time we needed help the policy was next to useless.

    • Hi Loz

      I am sorry to hear of your experiences. It must have been very stressful and upsetting to find your cover was so limited.

      Unfortunately the devil is n the detail and I am sure that if you had read the travel insurance in detail then you would be aware. Unfortunately the way many of the policies are written is that they are just not that clear as to what you are entitled to unless you read them in close detail. When I compare policies I always spend tim4e reading the small print and imagining the situations that could happen to me within my control to see if I am going to have acceptable cover or whether I will risk it and take personal responsibility for things. never an easy one to figure out but worth investing the time in my opinion.

      Another thing I do is to always have my passport and money on my person and never in a bag along with my phone which has all my insurance contacts in it etc. That way, if the bag goes I can still function with my essential documents and can always replace the bag and its contents if needs be.

      Kind regards


  28. steph says:

    Its Sept now and booked a holiday for March next year for a flight 18 hrs away. All travellers fit and well, however my elderly mother of 91 yrs home who isn’t travelling may become seriously ill (not foreseen, however at her age anything could happen). I may need to cancel.
    Would travel insurance cover that under cancellation?

    • Hi Steph

      Assuming that your mother has no existing medical conditions at the time of you taking out your travel insurance and is not being treated for anything then you should be able to go ahead without any issue with full cover. if she does have any conditions you should declare them to your insurer to avoid any potential problems about claiming further down the line. they will assess your situation and advise from there.

      Hope that helps.

      Kind regards


  29. just wondering if someone can advise of a reliable insurer that pays the doctor or hospital direct as i cant afford to pay first then reclaim the money if anything was to happen. As i have pre exsisting conditions that i will declare fully alsoim going toask my gp for a letter to say im fit to go.I AM going to Thailand for 40 days AND WORRIED IF SOMETHING WAS TO GO WRONG i would have to pay first and try reclaim the money wen i come back.Also hopefully be able to find one that would return me back if something was to happen like another bomb blast as there was a bomb blast that killed ppl only a few weeks ago

    Many thanks Dave and any info would be very welcome

    • Hi there Dave

      Payment is usually arranged depending on the condition you are being treated for. All major conditions would be picked up by the insurer and they should be informed as soon as you are hospitalised. They will liaise with the hospital about payment. Minor conditions such as a doctors appointment and some medication are usually paid out for by yourself and then you submit a claim.

      An insurer is always there at the end of the phone to discuss the situation with and they will help and advise if payment is an issue. I would also recommend that you travel with a credit card which can be used in an emergency to cover something like this.

      Insurers will not pay for you to come home if there is a terrorist style attack such as the one in Bangkok recently unless you are involved in the incident and need medical attention. If the FCO changed travel advice and told people to leave the country airlines would look to repatriate people at the earliest opportunity, however you cannot insure against it with any normal policies that people use for travelling. Its’ a risk you would have to take. After the recent incident we did not see many people returning to the UK and curtailing their trips, instead they changed their itineraries or moved to other destinations within Bangkok if they chose not to stay there. Obviously this is at their own expense.

      Kind regards


  30. Chris says:

    I booked a dive holiday that left from San Diego. I booked my own flights and accommodation as required preceding and post being on the boat. I have an annual worldwide policy with additional travel disruption cover.

    I travelled to my destination, and whilst in transit the dive company cancelled the trip due to an impending storm which would make sea travel dangerous. I didn’t receive this information until I had access to email at my hotel.

    I stayed to meet the dive operator the next day to allow them to explain what was happening. After this I stayed an extra day and booked another flight home(my original return flight was non transferable) as it was cheaper than staying for the rest of the week – staying 3 nights total.

    On returning home the dive company informed me that they would either transfer the trip, or give a full refund.

    I contacted my insurance company to try to recover the cost of travel/accommodation, under ‘an act of god/storm conditions’. This was dismissed by the insurance company stating that its a trip within a trip which is not covered. Also they said as I had already travelled it was no longer disruption, but now curtailment, so I’m not covered. I argued that I expect all activities to be covered and not just flights, but they will not allow me to claim for the flights/accommodation.

    I am now $2000USD lighter for the experience, but don’t agree with the travel insurance company’s stance.

    Should this be covered so I try to recover some of my costs?

    • Hi Chris

      Sorry to learn about the disappointment of your planned diving trip.

      I am afraid there is nothing that you can do. You bought separate elements and took the flights to San Diego. The dive operator cancelling the trip due to poor weather is not a reason to claim back from your insurer, especially as they are offering either a full refund or a transfer to a new date.

      If the advice of the cancellation had happened before you left the UK you may have been in a stronger position, although I suspect the dive company’s terms and conditions would not have changed anything.

      It really depends on the wording of the travel insurance you have and I have no visibility of that. When you piece together your own itinerary and pay separately you will be covered for things like company failure or disruption due to a range of events, however as the flights were able to operate as normal and you could stay in your accommodation as normal there would be no recompense for these other than which the airline booking/hotel booking would offer in their own rights. Because one element is disrupted does not generally mean that all other items in your itinerary will be covered for the same disruption.

      I am afraid there will be nothing more you can do here other than bit the bullet and stand the loss.

      Kind regards


      • As a follow up to what happened, I was unwilling to accept the stance of the insurance company.

        I referred this to the Financial Ombudsman.

        As it turned out the insurance company had not even recorded my inquiry under any sort of reference, so the insurance underwriters contacted me.

        They apologised for the unprofessional handling of my claim, and also disagreed with the original stance. I was told that I could claim for the additional expenses incurred!

        So after nearly 7 months I have finally received payment for the extra accommodation and additional flight. I’m probably still about £700 out of pocket, but have at least got something back.

  31. Will insurers cover close relatives conditions or will cover for cancellation/curtailment automatically be excluded if a relative with a pre-existing condition does and we have to cancel a holiday?

    • Hi Jane

      This varies from policy to policy and also whether or not you have declared any pre-existing conditions for close relatives to your insurers.

      My recommendation is to always consult your insurer and make them aware of any information that you know about to allow them to decide whether to cover you or not for the circumstances in question.

      Kind regards


  32. Does having a pacemaker count as a preexisitmg condition? Our elderly mother has had one for years and she also has a bad back. Apart from that she is in good health but I think if we even mentions these things it will give the insurance company the opportunity to immediately say we cannot claim if anything happens to her.

    • Hi Jane

      Anything where treatment has occurred or is on going (a pacemaker obviously offers ‘treatment’ as required should be declared to your insurer if you want to ensure any claim is not voided.

      Please go ahead and talk to your insurer. Declaring something does not necessarily mean you will either have covered reduced or your premium rise.

      Kind regards


  33. Michelle says:

    If I am travelling with a group of friends, and one of them paid for the accommodation on their credit card and the rest of us then reimbursed them, will I be able to claim accommodation costs through my travel insurance if the trip is cancelled?

  34. Tracy says:

    My 82 year old mother had an accident in Mallorca. She was asked by the paramedics whether she had medical insurance to which she replied she had, they took her to a private hospital. At the request of the insurers, the hospital carried out blood tests and scans – completely unrelated to my Mum’s injuries. They have discovered a problem with her blood which was diagnosed 5 years ago but needed no treatment and so my Mum never dreamt of declaring it. It seems the hospital have seen an 82 year old woman and in an attempt to avoid paying out, asked for unrelated tests, knowing they would find something. We will dispute but makes me think she would have been better not taking out insurance and being covered by the EHC. Beware before you say you have medical insurance – you could actually end up with a massive bill- as e unfortunately have.

    • Hi Tracy,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s accident.

      While your mother should, technically, have declared her blood problem to her insurer, you may be able to argue that it wasn’t necessary as she hasn’t had any treatment. (This is only a may though.)

      It’s worth talking through your situation with the Financial Ombudsman to find out if they think your mother has a case.

      Good luck.

      Thank you,

  35. Whilst on holiday a holiday rep died & that totally ruined my holiday. I now suffer from sleepless nights, cold sweats, and traumatic stress. I had holiday insurance also. Am i able to claim?

    • Hi Jay,

      Thank you for your comment and sorry to hear about the sad incident on your holiday and the upset it has caused you.

      As the incident was outside of your travel company’s control, it is unlikely you will be able to claim compensation from them. So I can help you, can you let me know what you’re looking to claim from your insurance provider?

      Insurance is designed to compensate you for a material loss or for tangible detriment, such as a travel delay. So unless you can prove that the unfortunate incident caused such loss or detriment, and can also demonstrate that the consequences of the incident were included within the terms of the policy, then I’m afraid you’d be unlikely to succeed with a claim.

      Thank you,

  36. We have booked very recently to travel on Christmas Day to Dubai but my son has been exposed to chicken pox. I am currently in process of booking travel insurance. Do you know of any policy which will cover all 4 (my husband and I and our daughter) of us if he comes down with chicken pox and we cannot travel. Our tickets are currently non refundable or changeable or transferable. Do I need to tell the travel
    Insurance company that he has been exposed to chicken pox as he might not even get it. I have checked with Virgin who say he can travel 5 days after the rash appears. Also we have not booked accommodation yet but will the travel insurance policy cover this also. Please help!


    • Hi there

      The issue is whether or not he is showing any symptoms of chicken pox at the point you take out your travel insurance.

      Many of us are exposed to conditions we can catch from others and would be unaware of. I would arrange your travel insurance and call them to advise that you believe may have been exposed to chicken pox but as yet has shown no symptoms at the point of purchase. This should cover you.

      Kind regards


  37. Anonymous says:

    If a friends pays for all 6 of us on her debit card and then one of us has to claim for any reason for a refund would our insurance companies payup since we had not made the original expenditure. Obviously we would not be covered on her insurance.

    • Hi there

      I am assuming that you would be taking out your own insurance and looking to make a claim on your own policy if the needed to cancel your break. It would have to be for an insurable reason.

      How the original holiday has been paid for is not relevant to them paying out. However the insurer may reserve the right to pay the money to the person who actually made the payment rather than you. They would then give you that money in the same way I assume that you paid them when the booking was made.

      I hope that answers your question.

      Kind regards


  38. Jenny G says:

    I had breast cancer 2 years ago. I asked the doctor for Beta Blockers and Diazapam to calm me down on hospital visits as I’d had them before for some stressful event years ago that I can’t remember. I’m quite a nervous person so tend to take these only under stressful occasions. However I found the Beta Blockers help keep my migraines at bay so still take one every day but not the Diazapam. It wasn’t the doctor saying I was stressed, it was me, so what do I declare here?

    • Hi Jenny

      As these are prescribed medicines you must declare them to your travel insurer as you are effectively being ‘treated for an on-going condition’. If the doctor did not think you should have them they would not be prescribed to you, despite it being your request from a doctor, rather than a doctor requesting that you take them.

      Give your insurer a call and be open and honest with them. they will then advise the situation on your cover.

      Do let us know how you get on.

      Kind regards


  39. Anonymous says:

    Hi we are fue to go on a wish trip christmas eve. My daughter has a medical condition which we have been insured for. The conditions were if she wasn’t in hospital 12 weeks prior to travel. Unfortunately she was admitted to hospital a couple of days ago due to a virus that as been going round. I don’t know what to do. She is doing well and should be home either today or tomorrow. Will the insurance become void

    • Hi there

      I am sorry that your daughter has been unwell so close to your planned trip.

      However I cannot speak for your insurance company. My advice is to give them a call asap and inform them of the details. They will then advise you of the situation and whether your cover is still in place. It is vital that you do this so you can ensure you have cover in place. Doing this will put your mind at rest and ensure the insurer is up to date.

      Do let us know how you get on.

      Kind regards


  40. Christine says:

    My parents are due to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary in November 2016 and are planning a family reunion. We need to book a large holiday cottage to accommodate 20 people near to where they live, but would like insurance in case one of our parents is taken ill at the time of the event effecting its cancellation. Any advice?

    • Hi there Christine

      The best thing to do is to insure the cottage trip for all people travelling. Depending on who you book with, the cottage itself or the company you book through may offer an insurance including cancellation. You can compare this online with our price comparison engine

      You will need to ensure the entire party is insured together and that any current medical conditions are declared at the time of purchase to the insurer. It need not be expensive if this is a UK based trip.

      Let us know how you get on.

      Kind regards


  41. I have declared all I can remember about my husband and his pre-existing medical condition, but there is a note in the policy they have offered saying the holiday wont be covered for cancellation if my husband’s condition becomes worse or if he needs medical intervention if he becomes worse. his is a progressive condition, recently diagnosed for which we have limited data, and I am concerned that the insurance company will say he is not or was not “stable” and try to wriggle out of covering him if the worst were to happen. we are planning to go long haul to Jamaica, so costs for repatriation to the UK could be HUGE…any advice, please help?

    • Hi Karen

      The best course of action with every medical condition is to declare it all to the insurer. You state you have done that.

      I would now call them back and enquire about the clause you have read about deterioration in his condition etc. to ask for their advice. They will talk you through it and advise you of what they will cover for and what you need to do to keep them up to date. As you have already declared the condition they will have accepted you on the basis of the information you have given them and will be aware of the nature of the condition and how it progresses.

      I’m sure a call to the insurers will put your mind at rest.

      Kind regards


  42. Hello

    I’ve been trying to book holiday for my parents, one of the questions I was asked about my mum was had she had any heart or circulation problems. She had her varicous veins stripped which was 40 years ago and hasn’t had any problems with them since.
    Does she need to declare this?


    • Hi Julia

      I would declare it. You are unlikely to have any issues as a result of that if it was so long ago and she has had no on-going treatment or medication as a result. However it is your travel insurer who will assess that as part of their risk profiling.

      Kind regards


  43. Sorry should say I’ve been trying to book holiday insurance


  44. Franz says:

    I’ve booked a ski trip to the USA, now I’ve hurt myself and although I’m fit to travel, I’m unlikely to be fit to ski. Obviously this makes the trip kind of pointless and I’d like to cancel.

    Is it likely that my travel insurance will cover cancellation (assuming that a doctor agrees with me)? I do have an annual ski specific policy.


    • Hi Franz

      It really will depend on what the terms and conditions are in your policy.

      Give your insurer a call and explain to them the situation to see what they say.

      Kind regards


  45. Gina O'Callaghan says:

    my husband has atrial fibrilliation and we are going on a cruise how much cover should I get £5 million or more we are also going to Portugal later in the year.
    Should i get him a separate policy or a joint one with me.

  46. Craig Williams says:

    Hi my wife and I have booked a cruise in june which I have to pay the balance in two weeks time my wife is having a spinal injection this week but if it doesn’t work she may need an operation I have declared ongoing treatment on her back in the policy could you tell me if we are covered if we have to cancel the cruise if the operation is scheduled for the same time as the cruise
    Thanks craig

    • Hi Craig

      Sorry to learn of your wife’s difficulties. Not knowing what your insurer agreed with you when you declared the treatment or what you policy cover is, you should contact your travel insurer on their helpline and discuss the matter with them. They will be able to advise the situation on what you can and cannot claim for as appropriate. I am sure you will find them helpful. The telephone number should be on your policy.

      Kind regards and our best 2wishes for your wife’s speedy recovery.


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  48. stefanie says:

    If I booked a holiday whilst insured on an annual multi trip policy but I then do not renew and change insurer before I travel. Am I covered for cancellation and which company would I be covered by?

    • Hi Stefanie

      Thank you for your message and patience while we checked this out for you.

      Having spoken to a number of insurers most are saying that you can use your current policy to claim for any cancellation of your trip and once that policy runs out buy a new one for your next year of travel and for which you could claim if you had to cancel this trip.

      However to be sure, give your insurer a call, explain the situation to them and check if they are extending cover for trips booked within its lifetime but travelling after the policy expires.

      Kind regards


  49. charlotte says:

    Hey there, I have a pre-existing medical condition, however am well enough not to take any medication as by my Dr. I am planning a working holiday to Ibiza and wont be prebooking return flights. I guess I will be under the influence of alcohol most nights, I am scared of my drinks getting spiked and I get relaspe of my medical condition. You mentioned earlier insurance companies wont always pay out depending on their policy, can you recommend a medical travel insurance company for a working holiday etc or would you recommend I apply for a EHIC card for discounted medical care fees in case of an emergency visit to a&e, gp visit etc? Thank you.

  50. Suzanne says:

    Hi, im thinking of taking a separate policy for myself and another one for my husband and 2 sons. I have a number of pre existing conditions and my youngest son has just had grommets fitted. weve been quoted upwards of £500 for 2 weeks in the US.ive just found a policy for £98 with Aviva but they wont cover my kidney transplant but cover my sons grommet insertion. the closest to that with cover for me included is £250 from boots but wed need to wait another 3 weeks until my son is 4 weeks clear of having surgery. we go on holiday in just over 6 weeks so im desperate to get cover now but not keen on spending £500 when were all essentially fit and healthy. can I take the Aviva policy and remove myself from it (they’ve already told me im not allowed 2 policies) and just take one out for myself (aprox £170)or do I cough up silly money for us all to be on the same policy?

    • Hi Suzanne

      There is no problem in you being on one policy and your husband and sons on a separate one. So go ahead and do that if it is the best overall deal for you for the cover that you all need.

      Kind regards


  51. We missed my flight due to a problem in the car enroute to the airport. The cover was for the family for a whole year and 31 days per trip. My trip was was from 11th February till 4 th March but my wife and daughter were staying a bit longer abroad till 18th March. I was told by my travel agent that our whole tickets to & fro are cancelled. We had to buy another ticket with similar return. I had a personnel problem due to which I couldnot travel back on the 4th and returned only on the 15th of March. This makes more than 31 days trip for all of us.
    My queries are
    1. I could only chase for the flight and reached 5 minutes late on the checkin desk. I was not in a position to get breakdown service involved. After I missed flight I emailed my garage ( it was out of hours) describing the situation since the car was serviced recently by them and requested to check the car on rerun. This was checked and the fault identified on my return.
    2. Would we get the cover for our missed departure since we couldnot travel in that ticket?
    Please advice

    • Hi Arun

      As I cannot see your travel insurance policy and what it includes and excludes, my advice is for you to contact your travel insurer asap to see if you can claim. Usually this needs to happen within 28 days of the need to make a claim so you may already be too late. However call them immediately to tell them you wish to claim and they will verify if your travel insurance policy covers this and also if you are within the time limit to make a claim.

      All of this is also within the terms and conditions of your policy for you to read and check.

      Kind regards


  52. Lesley says:

    I would like to know if an insurance company can cancel a policy ( after we’ve been with them for more than 3 years) without telling us.
    Our Flexiplus ( from Nationwide) insurers are claiming that we didn’t pay an extra charge. We received no invoice, no follow up invoice and no letter informing us we are no longer insured.
    My father died whilst on holiday in France and now the insurers are refusing to accept the claim.
    They claimed that we should have reminded them every year of my Father’s heart arrhythmia. The Ombudsman upheld this as the insurance company had unclear T&Cs / policy and had admitted that my parents had informed them.
    Once the Ombudsman had upheld the claim in our favour the insurance company has suddenly claimed that my parents didn’t pay the excess / premium. As stated no letters were ever received.
    We are sure that these are delaying tactics as it has taken them 10 months and the Ombudsman to mention the “unpaid premiums”.
    Any advice is welcome.

    • Hi Lesley

      My advice here if you are not getting any joy from the insurer is to speak with the Ombudsman which you appear to be doing already.

      Keep going with them and if all else fails you can consider a small claims court proceeding at low cost to yourself.

      Let us know how you go on.

      Kind regards


  53. Katherine Richardson says:

    Hi, we have a holiday booked for 3 months time. Unfortunately my lovely mum has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness with only ‘months’ left to live. Can i cancel my holiday for a refund via the insurance company. I have the cancellation element within the policy.

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi there

      I am sorry to learn that you have received such awful news. Our thoughts are with you.

      You will need to cancel your holiday, obtain a cancellation invoice detailing what is lost to the holiday company and then make a travel insurance claim from your insurance provider.

      Assuming your mother has not had any history relating to her health that you were aware of when you booked the holiday and took out the policy…..your claim should be OK to go through assuming the insurance company covers you in this instance. Without the details of your policy I cannot confirm that.

      My advice is to firstly contact your insurer, explain the situation and then once you understand that, start the process to cancel your trip.

      Kind regards


      • Katherine Richardson says:

        Thank you for your response. We booked the holiday end of February. Mum had been poorly for several weeks but we had no idea at the time it was cancer. She hadn’t had any tests done. She was admitted to hospital with breathing problems and as a result some tests were carried out which then led to her recent diagnosis.

  54. Sarah Dunn says:

    Wondering if you can help. I have a good annual travel insurance policy. My elderly parents live in the Netherlands. If I am on holiday in Italy for example and I need to fly to The Netherlands because one of them is hospitalised I guess I am not covered? Do I need some kind of extra cover or do I just accept that I cannot get insurance to cover me? Thanks!

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Please can I double check whether your parents have medical conditions that you know about or whether they are simply elderly? If they are just elderly and you have appropriate cancellation cover in your travel insurance policy then this could cover you for curtailment or cancellation. However, if they have conditions that you are aware of, it is unlikely that you will be covered if you go away – but talk to your insurance provider to double check this and to find out whether it can help.

      Re your specific example of being in Italy and flying to the Netherlands, this is tricky as it completely depends on your policy. Some insurance providers will only cover cancellation or curtailment if the relative is a resident of the UK while many others will provide cover regardless of where the relative is a resident. So again, you’ll need to check with your individual provider on what its policy is.

      Also, whether an insurer would pay for you to travel to the Netherlands rather than home to the UK will depend on your policy. For curtailment, many insurance providers will only cover the cost of returning to the UK – but a company may agree to pay for flights to the Netherlands if it’s cheaper than returning to the UK. However, all cover would cease as soon as you got there – ie no accommodation or a return trip to the UK would be covered.

      I think your best bet is to speak to your insurance provider and to explain your situation so you know what approach it takes to your individual circumstances.

      I hope that helps.

      Thank you,

  55. Anonymous says:

    If I have copd and I went on holiday and never declared it and I caught pneumonia what happens to my claim

    • Hi there

      COPD as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should be declared as it is an existing condition and you would have been having ongoing treatment for it. therefore anything related to your lungs would likely be viewed as then being out of scope for coverage by your policy had you not declared it. If you had a common cold and had no reason to see a doctor and this developed into pneumonia then in all likelihood you would have cover. However this can vary from one insurer to another.

      Kind regards


  56. Anonymous says:

    Hello everyone, please can someone help me. Me and my girlfriend, her brother and his girlfriend, paid £500 each towards a villa and van hire. It was for 15 days. We where going for 11 and her parents the full 15 days. Due to the French strikes her parents made it out but we didn’t.

    After claiming they have disregarded what we have paid. Got the total figures of the villa and van hire divided it by the number of people going (7) times the number of days we where going for(10 incorrect days) and offered this minus excess. Which let me tell you now is £10 each from £520 we have paid out.

    Is there anything legal we can come back with.

    My main argument is if we paid for 15 days but where offered 5 days for free, would they divide it by 15 and times it by 20? Double standards here. Which is why I’m sure we should be covered for our costs we have paid not value per person when her parents didn’t pay as it was a gift for them from us. (The problem being her parents made it out and we didnt) so I can understand them not paying the full costs as the villa and van where used for 2 people. But to offer £10 compensation is beyond a joke. Any help please!

    • Hi there

      I’m just trying to understand your message here.

      Did you actually travel at all? if so for how long and how much did you miss? How did you travel to France/would have travelled to France? Have you tried to make an insurance claim? if so, which company and under which clause are you claiming?

      I can then work out an answer for you.

      Kind regards


  57. Carol Hall says:

    Can you advise please. We are due to fly to Italy on June 20th. With our son, his wife and baby daughter. He has paid for flights, villa and car hire. We have given him a cheque for our share.
    We now learn that the baby has been in close contact with chicken pox. If she develops it and the blisters are not completely scabbed over, she will not be allowed to fly.

    We would not wish to travel without our son, neither of us is confident of driving abroad, and the villa is quite rural, no public transport. We are both approx 75 years old.

    Are we able to c l aim on our own insurances (one annual, one single trip), or does it all needdbto be claimed on our son’s?

    Any advice gratefully received

    • Hi Carol

      Let’s hope that their baby is well enough to travel and then this will be immaterial.

      Your son could claim for his flights, the villa rental and the vehicle on his insurance. That would leave just your flights to be claimed for on your travel insurance. You would need to clairy if your travel policy allows a claim at all when the reason you are travelling is someone not fit to fly but who is insured elsewhere.

      Contact your insurer to validate if you can make a claim for your flights only, leaving the rest of it to be claimed on your son;s policy.

      Kind regards


  58. Natalie Smith says:

    Hi there I wa Sadie to travel during the summer with a family member. She has since broken her ankle and is no longer able to travel. I did not have insurance at the time of the accident but the flights etc have been booked on a credit card. Would I be covered?

    I never realised travel insurance was so vital prior to the holiday. Have always purchased it just before travelling. Lesson well learnt!

    Thank you for your help

    • Hi there

      I am afraid you will not be covered by your credit card unless your card comes with a full travel insurance policy.

      Kind regards


  59. Hi. Both my sons have chicken pox outbreak in their classes. Would I be covered if they get it and we can not fly anywhere?

    • Hi Hana

      I’m sorry to hear that.

      For travel insurance you should check your policy and if it is not clear on the policy then give them a call to talk to them about this. They will explain if it is covered for cancellation of a holiday if you are unable to travel or they need treatment if you have travelled and they develop it.

      If the children are contagious, airlines will not allow you to fly with them in general and you could be refused boarding if you arrive at the airport with signs of infection, so do get them checked out in you are in any doubt before heading to the airport and then speak to your airline for advice.

      Fingers crossed.

      Kind regards


  60. Hi

    Would insurance companies normally pay out if you got to your intended accomadation and it was not available? We’ve had a last minute change of venue and whilst I’m 99% sure everything is fine and just want some piece of mind!

    • Hi Kate

      It depends what sort of policy you have and what is covered on it. usually it would only cover you if the accommodation or the company you had booked it through had gone into liquidation and you had End Supplier Failure as part of the policy.

      Otherwise it depends on how you booked it. if you had paid by credit card and the transaction is over £100 then you can charge the transaction back under the Consumer Credit Directive for failure to deliver the product. If you have booked as part of an ATOL backed package then the ATOL company is responsible to arrange alternative accommodation for you and resovle any necessary reimbursement/compensation as appropriate.

      Hope that helps you.

      Kind regards


    • Just a note of caution – Our chalet company went into liquidation 8 days before we travelled – we have “End Supplier Failure” cover so we booked another chalet and figured we’d get our money back but NO! International Passenger Protection (IPP) say that our chalet company is a “booking agent” and therefore not covered!! I’m beside myself; we’ve lost £3000 and there’s nothing we can do about it :-( Any advice?

      • Hi there,

        I’m very sorry to hear about that. What is the name of the chalet company that you booked with and do you know whether it held an ATOL licence?

        In some instances you are covered under the visa/master card charge back scheme. Have you tried contacting your bank or card issuer about the payment?



  61. nymara tinnirello says:

    We have just returned from our holiday to Mallorca,on leaving the hotel my daughter left her bag (hand luggage )outside the hotel. We only realised it had been left behind when we got to the airport. I called the hotel immediately but the reception could not find it and told me to call back the next day,which I did but unfortunately it still had not been found. Her bag contained money and gifts amongst other things to the value of about £500 .Can anyone tell me if I can claim on my insurance. Kind regards Kevin

    • Hi Nymara

      You would need to check your travel insurance policy or call your travel insurer to see if you have cover for personal belongings and baggage and what the small print says on your policy for the loss of it.

      If you are covered you will then be able to make a claim.

      Kind regards


  62. Nicola Elsworth says:

    My travelling partner has had to cancel her trip due to her daughter’s illness and need for surgery. The surgery date has been given and is right in the middle of our holiday. My question is…if she didn’t know about her daughter’s condition when she took out the insurance policy, do you think she will be able to recover her travel costs? She has paid for the trip and flights in full.

    • Hi Nicola

      This will depend on what her travel policy covers. The only way to know for sure is to give them a call, make them aware of the situation and they can then advise her of the position.

      Kind regards


  63. Spring says:


    I had a skin cancer problem three years ago which was serious but operated on and now completely cured. I mentioned this to one company when I requested travel insurance and was told the cost would be over £1.5k for this. I cannot afford this and tried a few other companies and the same thing happened. All I really need cover for is if the holiday is cancelled for some reason, airline is delayed or suitcase lost. My private health insurance covers medical problems at home and abroad. If I don’t declare my medical problem will that void the whole policy for any sort of claim or just medical claims. Please help I am so confused.

    • Hi Spring

      You can still take cover out, however you should declare your condition and if you are happy that any cancellation or medical treatment relating to your skin cancer would not be covered then normally they will exclude that from the policy and issue one at the normal price.

      You should also read the article from our sister company which includes a link at the bottom to companies who specialise in issuing quotes to those who have been affected by cancer where you may get a better quote than the ones you have had already.

      Kind regards


  64. Paula says:


    I’m going on holiday with my mum, 73 yrs old, she has an annual travel policy which includes her pre existing conditions so I will be buying a single trip policy for myself with a different company. Some of the insurers ask if anyone in your party have pre existing conditions they have to be declared. I just need clarification whether that means I have to declare hers or does it mean if I was going with someone else on the same insurance I would have to declare theirs.

    So basically if I just buy my insurance with a different company & something happens to my mum whilst we’re away would I be covered to stay with her if she’s hospitalised longer than our holiday??

    It’s slightly confusing!


    • Hi Paula

      This depends on each policy and its wording. If it were me I would contact the company you are buying from and tell them about your mum, especially if you are travelling with her. They can then advise you the position if your mum were to be ill and how that would effect any claim you may need to make for cancelled or curtailed travel.

      Kind regards


  65. We were meant to go on holiday on Saturday but my mum passed away on Thursday. Will we be covered?

    • Hi Diane,

      I’m very sorry to hear about your loss.

      The best thing to do is to check your travel insurance for a contact number and give them a ring – they are best placed to advise you of your options. If you find you can make a claim you will need proof that you did not travel from your travel company, which is usually in the form of a letter or cancellation invoice from them.

      If you do not have insurance then unfortunately you will not be covered.


  66. Elaine Stockwell says:

    We are going to Florida in October from the 7th to the 16th. We fly home on the 16th but because its a night flight we don’t land until the morning of 17th. So do I buy insurance up until the 17th ?

    • Hi Elaine,

      You should always take out travel insurance for the entire duration of your trip, including all flights.

      Most travel insurance Ts and Cs state that to be fully covered you must consider situations exactly like the one you mention, where your flight leaves on one day but lands the next – it may cost you a little extra, but the fact that you’re fully covered could save you a lot of hassle in the long-run.

      Hope you have a fantastic time in Florida!


  67. pam savage says:

    Well i had holiday insurance and covered my husband for his medical condition, he died on holiday of a blood clot to his leg which was caused by an accident on holiday , back in 2014, mexican medical office said died of diabetic attack which covered him for, but he died of a blood clot to his leg, i have now tracked down the report in uk, insurance company didnt even try, i did one call got report, as they been refussing to pay out, becuase of the death certificate from mexico what wasnt true, at the end of the day i had to watch him die, but insurance company dont want to pay out

  68. Richard Clarke says:

    Hi there!
    Two questions:
    1) I have a couple of pre-existing medical conditions. My wife and two children have none. It is cheaper for me to have my own insurance policy, and for my wife and kids to have their own family policy. If we are travelling together on a package holiday and we need to make a claim – for example cancellation due to illness – how would this work with the different policies? Do we claim on just one, or partially on both?
    2) Let’s say I decide, for convenience, to pay extra to have us all on the same family policy (having declared my two pre-existing conditions). What happens if I go on a business trip at the same time as my wife takes the children abroad on holiday, and we both need to make a claim at the same time for different reasons in different places? Will the family policy cover both eventualities?

    • Hi Richard,

      Yes, you may find it cheaper to take out a separate policy for yourself. However, bear in mind that if you were to fall ill and could not fly back at the end of the trip, your wife and kids would not be eligible for any payout towards the cost of staying on as they would have a separate policy – if you are all on the same policy, you should all be covered.

      If you were forced to cancel the trip because of illness but you had separate policies, your wife and kids would not be able to claim on their insurance. You would be able to claim on your own insurance provided the policy covers this, but only for yourself.

      Some policies allow the named adults to travel separately, so if your policy does allow this then I believe this also applies when you take concurrent trips such as in the example you have given, but you should definitely give your insurance provider a call to clarify this, and also to check whether business travel is included in the cover too.

      I would suggest ringing around to find out what the different providers can offer you based on your specific requirements – it may mean that you need to pay a little more to ensure that you’re comfortable that you’re covered for all eventualities.


  69. Kathleen begbie says:

    Hi my husband had a ruptured brain aneurysm 31 yrs ago which was clipped he has not had any problems since and Does not suffer from any physical disabilities as a result or from epilepsy. Do I have to declare this as a medical condition.
    Also if you buy a couples annual policy do you have to use policy as a couple or can one of us use policy on our own as I plan to go away with a friend next year and was hoping to use same policy or is it
    Best to get a single policy for each of us

    • Hi Kathleen,

      I would expect that given how long it’s been and the lack of any medical problems since, it shouldn’t affect the cost of your travel insurance policy – however, it is always wise to speak to the insurer you are thinking of using to check whether they will include the condition on the policy.

      Regarding single or joint policies, some insurance policies may cover you to travel individually, but many don’t – again, you should give your insurance provider a call to clarify this.


  70. Hi my husband and I have an annual travel insurance that we’ve had for 7 yrs. since taking it out we have had a baby who’s two now and I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure (no other diagnosis) but I and am waiting to have a monitor on for 24 hrs,I am also taking beta blockers to try to control it. Do I need to update my travel insurance with this information? The policy states it covers any children under 18 but do I need to update them with the information and as my condition wasn’t pre existing do I need to tell them now?

    • Hi Sindy,

      Any changes to your health should be declared to the insurer. With regards to your two year old, the baby should be covered if the policy specifies any children under 18 but you should query this with them when you declare your blood pressure just to be sure.

      I hope this helps.



  71. Anonymous says:

    My brother was diagnosed with serious liver condition back in January 2016 we had not been told by doctors at any point in time of life expectancy he was undergoing tests in hospital and then going to hospital for treatment ie fluid drains every 3/4 weeks i booked a trip back in June 2016 to travel out on 9th September my brother took a turn for the worse and got an infection in the fluids on his stomach which then lead to his unexpected death on 7th September i contacted my insurers whom have refused any claim presumably there is nothing i can due now about any reimbursement of my trip

    • Hello,

      I am very sorry for your loss.

      According to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), nearly all policies provide cover for cancellation due to the illness, injury or death of the policyholder or a close relative.

      If your insurance company continues to refuse to pay compensation, you may have a case for complaining to the FOS – you can find information about how to do this here:

      I hope this helps.


  72. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I took a family travel insurance from post office, put claim as”me and family” but missed to list individual names. Our plan was me and kids travel first and then my husband will join us after 3 weeks. Unfortunately 4 days before our travel my husband had a heart attack. Needless to say we had to rebook our ticket and cancelled husband’s travel. PO was very unhelpful saying becoz we didn’t list individual name they cannot help with any money at all. Is there any way we could have got any help?Please advise

    • Hi there,

      Very sorry to hear about your husband’s heart attack.

      To see how it works I have just gone through the process of applying for Family Travel Insurance through the Post Office, and at no point was I asked to provide anyone’s name other than my own before making payment, so that’s confusing!

      If you haven’t already done so, it would be worth going through the Post Office’s official complaints procedure:

      If that fails to produce a result, you can try the Financial Ombudsman Service or the European Commission’s Online Dispute Resolution service – details about both of these can be found towards the bottom of the page here:

      Best of luck!


  73. Peter rushman says:

    We want to a book a holiday next summer, August 2017, to celebrate our 50ths birthday- we have lloyds bank premier world wide travel insurance , which comes with our bank account. This means we are covered all the time and there is no renewal- ( as long as we are a premiere account holder.) my wife’s mother is 82 soon, but has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. At this stage , we don’t know how long she has – there are no immediate symptoms that cause a concern. We want to know if we book the flights, and we need to cancel- ( we don’t need to book any accommodation yet) because of her health, ie she gets worse or she passes will be covered by this policy.. OR is there a specialist insurance broker that we can use to take out insurance for this purpose. If she become s very ill say and we know her time will be short, we may want to cancel etc. she doesn’t live with us and we are not her carers. Any assistance would be most appreciated.

    • Hi Peter,

      I’m very sorry to hear about your mother in law.

      Regarding your insurance, most policies cover cancellation on medical grounds but you should call Lloyds to make sure that it will cover you in this case. The number is 0800 731 4044.

      If they say you are not covered then we can start to look for alternatives.

      I hope this helps.


      • Peter rushman says:

        Thanks- I did call and was told to go ahead and book flights – holidays etc- there words were ” we don’t expect you to put your life on hold-” and “if you have to cancel for this reason then claim in the usual way” and may need to get a letter from her doctors- I emphasised she was recently diagnosed- but like no time scale can or will be given by her consultant- she lives on her own- and is well now- but could become ill at any stage- I was confident of the insistence it should not be an Issue. Would it be best to write to them to formally tell them?

        • Hi Peter,

          If they’ve spoken to you to confirm everything’s OK then that should be fine, although it does sound like a good idea to get something in writing – I would advise emailing them to explain about the conversation you had and tell them you would just like it written down by return email.


  74. Tom Unsworth says:


    Sorry if this has been covered above, but I don’t have the time.

    28th september today, My partner is booked in on 11th October with the ‘breast clinic’ having found some lumps. nothing diagnosed, just checking, 95% chance everything will be fine. We are hoping to be away on the 15th? I am looking at travel insurance today?! Where do I stand when nothing has been diagnosed currently?!
    Thanks in anticipation,

    • Hi Tom,

      My suggestion would be that you tell any prospective insurer about your situation when you buy, rather than risk not having cover for cancellation. Here for instance is the information from the Post Office’s travel insurance policy:

      If anyone has an undiagnosed Medical Condition (for example, if waiting for tests, investigations or treatment), or has been given a terminal prognosis, this policy will not cover any related claim against Section A – Cancellation or Curtailment and Section B – Emergency Medical and Additional Expenses. If You have a change in health after You have taken out this insurance, We reserve the right to alter the terms of this insurance based on the change.

      Hopefully your partner will get the all-clear and you’ll be able to enjoy a relaxing trip!


  75. Anonymous says:

    I had a problem with hemerroids before my holiday and had various blood tests done as was feeling unwell. Just as was getting on plane had a missed call and received voice message when got to destination saying blood trans was needed. I had this done on holiday. Where do i stand on claim? Thanks.

    • Hi,

      Have you contacted your insurer yet? They should be able to tell you if you can make a claim as it will depend on your policy.

      I hope this helps.


  76. David Langley says:

    We were due to visit family in Dubai but had to cancel as my wife developed a severe lung disorder and was unable to fly. Fortunately we had travel insurance and our only expenditure was the flights (total cost £650) the travel agent refunded our tax (£130). The policy excess was £250.
    The travel insurance company paid out £20.
    The premium was £35. The required Dr’s report was £30.
    So much for peace of mind.

  77. Liz Miller says:

    can anyone help me, we booked a holiday 12 months ago. we then decided to go through the adoption process. would a travel insurance cover us if a child was placed with us and we had to cancel holiday?

    • Hi Liz,

      Unfortunately I would be very surprised if this was part of any insurer’s standard policy.

      Your best bet would be to contact insurance providers and explain your situation to see if they can do any sort of bespoke insurance package for you – there are also a number of ‘tailor made’ insurance firms which you can find if you search for them online, which may be better placed to provide this sort of cover.

      Wishing you the very best of luck with the adoption process.


  78. Doreen says:

    A friend of mine has just discovered that she has high blood pressure and is now taking medication. She purchased her travel insurance some months ago. I read that if the condition was not present when you buy the insurance then it is not considered Pre-existing. Plans to travel in two weeks… can you advise please?

    • Hi Doreen,

      I’m afraid that if even if your friend developed a condition after buying their travel insurance, they should get in touch with their insurer with an update.

      If, while on holiday, they were to suffer issues due to this new medical condition without declaring it, there’s a good chance any claim they make will be rejected, as the medical condition of the traveller given to the insurer was not accurate at the time of travel.


  79. TripleB says:

    I am travelling to Australia later this month for an event I absolutely cannot be late for which starts 3.5 days after I am scheduled to land (i regrettably cannot fly earlier due to work).

    My biggest concern is that Heathrow (or to a lesser extent my connection point Shanghai) is snowbound for a day or two and I get stuck… in which case I’d be trying to get myself to Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris etc by any other available means (bus/train/ferry) to get another flight out from there.

    I am looking for a policy which will cover some of the cost of purchasing an alternate airfare from an alternate airport (given the proximity to Christmas this airfare won’t be cheap).

    I’m having trouble finding a policy which covers this. I don’t care about the medical/baggage/other coverage or indeed the level of excess – just this feature.

    Any suggestions as to what search terms I should be plugging into various search engines to try and narrow the search down a bit?

    I’m only finding policies that will cover the hotels whilst you wait for a new flight and/or a modest per day £ amount. Nothing about buying an alternative airfare.

    • Hi there,

      Hmm – a tricky one. My gut feel is that you’ll have to get on the phone and ring around a few insurers to see whether they’re prepared to provide this sort of cover – I don’t think it’s something that would normally be on a regular insurance policy, but some insurers may be able to create a bespoke policy to cover this specific eventuality, perhaps with a limit to how much cover they would provide for the new ticket.

      Other than the big-name insurance companies (who are worth giving a call), a quick search comes up with a number of smaller outfits which claim to offer bespoke insurance – they might be best-placed to help you.

      I hope you have a stress-free trip and enjoy the event you’re heading to – and the weather!


  80. angela drew says:

    Is it standard for helicopter transport to hospital following a ski accident to be included in Winter sports cover? Can’t see it in my policy, and the hospital benefit is only £30 per day, which wouldn’t be sufficient to cover taxi fares to visit the injured person in a distant hospital

    • Hi Angela,

      Some policies do, but it depends who your insurer is. If it’s not included and you want to add it in, i’d speak to your insurer before you travel.

      Hope this helps.


  81. Allie Wharf says:

    I booked a doctors appointment an hour before I booked my flight. Which I thought was routine as I had had a cough for a few weeks. I was then sent for a chest -x-ray and advised to cancel my trip on medical grounds. My insurer says that my chest problem was a pre-existing condition as I had booked to see the doctor about it and therefore my insurance is invalidated. Is that correct? At the time of booking I had no idea that my cough was in anyway likely to stop me travelling.

    • Hi Allie,

      I’m not sure who you have your travel insurance with, but I’ve had a look around at a couple of insurers’ terms and conditions. Avanti’s for example, say:

      We classify a pre-existing medical condition as any disease, illness or injury for which you have received medication, advice or treatment or, you have experienced symptoms whether the condition has been diagnosed or not.

      Another, the Post Office, states:

      If anyone has an undiagnosed Medical Condition (for example, if waiting for tests, investigations or treatment) … this policy will not cover any related claim against Section A – Cancellation or Curtailment and Section B – Emergency Medical and Additional Expenses.

      Unfortunately, if as is likely you have a similar clause in the contract of your travel insurance, you will probably not be able to claim compensation. Who is your insurance with?


  82. My son is going away with his friend and their family later in the year. Who buys the travel insurance for my son? Them or us?

  83. Helen M says:

    On the 2nd December 2016, my partner and I booked flights to Gran Canaria for the period 9th to the 22nd March 2017. On the 27th December, we booked 13 nights accommodation in 4 different places.

    My partner’s mother who is 88 lives with us and on the 16th January 2017 started feeling unwell and after various appointments was diagnosed with womb cancer on 2nd February She has been in good health and we had been in India/ Thailand in October and November 2016 for 51 days. We had left her on her own as she is very independent.

    An appointment for surgery has now been made for 7th March- two days before we are due to start our holiday so my partner will have to cancel as he will need to be around to support her when she comes out of hospital.

    I have two questions as we have separate insurance policies.
    Question 1.
    My partner is covered for this event as it’s his mother and the illness was after our booking but I am not sure where I stand as she is not my close family although she has been living with us for the past 6 years. I will need to be around to cook and clean etc, and support both of them in this situation, especially after the surgery and he will need to take her to appointments etc.

    Question 2.
    If I go on my own, then my partner would cancel his fares and bus travel but he could not cancel the accommodation as I would still need it. Would he be able to be reimbursed for his half share of the accommodation if he cannot provide cancellation details? I have searched the internet but cannot find any examples of similar situations where the accommodation was not cancelled.

    • Hi Helen,

      Hmm, a pretty complicated scenario! First off I hope your partner’s mother’s surgery goes as well as possible.

      Given the complexity of the issue, I think the only way you’re going to be able to find out where you stand is by contacting your insurance provider to find out if the relationship you have with your partner’s mother is close enough that their cancellation terms cover you.

      If not, then you would likely have to either take the financial hit, or go on the trip on your own. I would not expect you to be able to be reimbursed for half the price of the accommodation, but if your partner booked the accommodation and his insurance covers him for cancelling, then it’s possible you could cancel the whole lot and then rebook accommodation just for yourself. However, it’s often the case than those travelling solo do not actually pay that much less than two people travelling together and sharing one room.

      Apologies if that doesn’t help that much, but in this instance I think you really will have to discuss this very specific situation with your insurance provider/s!

      Best of luck,


      • Helen M says:

        Thank you Tom. I will see what the insurers say.

        I completely agree – I have been looking at Accommodation for solo travellers and not much cheaper as you say!

  84. Amy & Scott says:

    Hi Tom,
    I hope that you can clarify this. My husband, 16 year old son & I are taking a trip to Maui with my parents (78 & 73 years old with pre-existing medical conditions) & are sharing (splitting the cost) a 3 bedroom villa. Should we get one policy that covers all of us or get 2 separate policies?
    My husband is concerned about what will happen if my parents have to cancel and we still want to take the trip??? If we each have insurance and they cancel, will their insurance reimburse them for their half of the trip, so that we can still go and stay in the 3 bedroom villa? Your help & knowledge is appreciated!

    • Hi Amy,

      Thanks for your question. If you were to take out a policy for the five of you, you would all need to live at the same address. If this is not the case, you would need a group policy where everyone declares their pre-existing medical conditions.

      With regards to the second part of your query, this is really hard to say as providers can vary in what they pay out for. I would recommend speaking to an insurer before you purchase a policy so you can explain the situation to them directly.

      I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help.



  85. If i go on holiday and one person who is already booked on does not go what happens?

    • Hi Nikki,

      If you mean in terms of insurance and getting compensation, it depends on the reason for them not going and whether they are covered for that – could you elaborate?


  86. Is it ok to buy insurance stating Spain if you are going to Majorca…rather than putting Majorca itself in the box which seems to inflate the price a lot! After all, Majorca is Spain so can’t see that would be a problem but would like advice on this please. Many thanks.

    • Hi Molly,

      Who have you tried to take the policy out with? As far as I’m aware, on our site you would only have the option to pick the country.



  87. Christine says:

    I booked a three month holiday for this May it was booked last year but I only got round to taking out travel insurance two weeks before I went to see my gp about pains in my stomach it turns out now that I will not be able to fly as I need urgent tests will I be able to claim for the holiday and flights,

    • Hi Christine,

      I’m very sorry to hear that you won’t be able to travel and I hope everything goes ok with the tests.

      With regards to your insurance, you may be able to claim if your policy has cancellation cover. Illness is usually covered under such policies as long as the illness was unknown to you at the time of booking your trip; this sounds like the case with you, but you will have to check with the insurer as to what your policy covers specifically. I’d also recommend getting a note from your doctor explaining why you can’t fly as the insurer will probably ask for evidence.

      I hope this helps.


  88. Msfife says:

    If I have an annual travel insurance and I have a change of condition a knee dislocation for example as this happened after I took out the insurance do I need to inform the insurer before we go away again?

    • Emma Coulthurst says:

      Yes, you need to declare any pre-existing medical conditions before you travel.
      If your medical treatment relates to a condition you knew about before you left, and which was left off your travel insurance policy, your treatment may not be covered.
      Hope that helps.

  89. Nic cooper says:

    Hi we are due to fly tomorrow to Portugal our eldest child has had chicken pox but has been cleared to fly. We are concerned that the younger sibling will develop it as we are away in the 10-21 day incubation period. The insurance claims department is closed today and no-one can give me a definitive answer if we are insured if we cancel (even though little one has no symptoms) or covered if we go away and he develops symptoms.

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