How to make a travel insurance claim

If something goes wrong while you’re on holiday and you need to make a claim on your travel insurance, the last thing you need is for it to be turned down. Read our guide on how to make a claim to ensure it’s as hassle-free as possible...

If something goes wrong while you’re on holiday and you need to make a claim on your travel insurance, the last thing you need is for it to be turned down. Read our guide on how to make a claim to ensure it’s as hassle-free as possible...

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
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Posted 30 JANUARY 2020

When can I make a claim?

When you take out travel insurance, you’ll find a list of things that you can claim for in your policy documents. Make sure you check the level of cover and the maximum amount you can claim for each. A comprehensive travel insurance policy will usually cover:

  • Loss of baggage
  • Theft
  • Cancellation
  • Medical treatment
  • Public liability
  • Delays

Check your policy to see if you need to pay an excess towards the cost of a claim. For example, if your £50 watch gets stolen but you have an excess of £100, then it’s probably not worthwhile making a claim on your policy. 


International travel is not currently permitted before 17 May 2021 at the earliest (date subject to further confirmation from the government). For single trip and long-stay trips, you won’t be able to get a travel insurance quote if you’re travelling before this date. 

You’re still able to purchase annual multi-trip policies. But if you choose to travel against the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice and current restrictions, you won’t be covered for your trip. 

While the majority of travel insurance providers don’t offer cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes before 17 May 2021, some are now able to offer cover. If you have any queries, you should check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before you buy. 

Different rules may apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and it’s important that you follow all the rules that apply to you. 

For travel advice on your destination, check the FCDO for the latest information. 

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has launched a directory of insurance providers on its Money Advice Service website that may be able to provide quotes over the phone, if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.

How do I make a claim?

If you need to make a claim, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as you can - your policy documents or the provider’s website will have the contact details. There’ll be a deadline (typically 31 days) in which you can make a claim from the time of the incident.

When you speak to your provider, you’ll need to give them your policy number (you’ll find this on your policy documents) and details of the incident. You’ll then be sent a claims form to fill out – or you may be able to download one from the provider’s website.

What evidence will I need when making a claim?

If any of your belongings are lost or stolen, you’ll have to file a crime report at the nearest police station. Read our guide in the event your passport is stolen.  

You’ll also need to have supporting evidence for your claim, such as receipts, for anything that’s been stolen or lost. If you’re claiming for a delayed flight, you’ll need proof that you bought a ticket for that particular flight, such as a boarding pass. If your luggage has been lost at the airport, request a ‘property irregularity form.’  

If you’re claiming for medical expenses then you’ll need a medical form from your GP. It’s important you keep a record of any conversations/emails you have with the insurance provider, in case there’s any dispute with your claim.

Can my claim be denied?

A claim against your travel insurance may be denied for a number of reasons. 

  • If you’ve failed to accurately declare any pre-existing medical conditions when taking out a policy, this can result in a claim for medical expenses being denied.  
  • Your insurance provider may reject any claim you make for an incident that happened when you were intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
  • Make sure you have all the necessary vaccinations before you travel. If you fail to get the recommended vaccinations and fall ill as a result, you could invalidate your policy.
  • If your provider feels an accident resulted from reckless behaviour, or lack of reasonable care, it might challenge your claim. This can also be the case if you don’t have the right level of cover. For example, an accident caused by a hazardous activity not included in your policy, such as horse riding or mountaineering.
  • Although a travel insurance policy should cover stolen items, leaving your belongings unattended, for example in a car, could affect your claim being successful.
  • Not providing adequate supporting documentation, such a police report, can also reduce your chances of success.

You can reduce the possibility of having your claim rejected by filling in your details as accurately as possible when you complete a travel insurance quote.

If you feel your claim has been treated unfairly by your provider, you can go through their complaints procedure and then take your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you’re still not satisfied.

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