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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...

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
minute read
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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. 


Starting on 5 November, the Government has introduced a national lockdown for England that will last until at least 2 December. As part of this, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advise against all non-essential domestic and international travel.

If you choose to travel overseas to a destination while the FCDO has advised against non-essential travel, or domestically against the instructions of the UK Government, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim will be rejected.

For those living in the UK but outside of England, the public health rules may differ, but you must abide by the restrictions imposed by your local authority.

We’ll continually review the situation, and update you with the latest FCDO or Government guidance on travel.

For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Until then, stay safe.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we will only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover for all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pension Service (MaPs) has also launched a directory of insurance providers, who 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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