A simples guide

Holiday cancellation insurance

If there’s one thing we look forward to during the year, it’s our annual summer holiday - or any holiday for that matter. Sun, sand, warm evenings and cold drinks; it makes work so much more bearable. 

 

But sometimes, the unexpected happens, and you have to cancel your precious holiday at the last minute. You may fall ill, suffer a bereavement, or have an accident that leaves you unable to travel; there are many reasons why you may have to sacrifice your much needed break.

 

No one wants to cancel their holiday, but sometimes, unfortunate circumstances like these mean you have to. If you don’t have holiday cancellation insurance, not only will you lose out on your much needed hols, you might also lose out on the money you’ve paid for it too. 

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What is holiday cancellation insurance?

UK holiday cancellation insurance is usually included as standard with travel policies, and can be a lifesaver if the worst happens and you have to cancel your trip. It’s one of the key costs that insurance protects against, along with overseas medical expenses, personal liability and lost baggage cover.

Most basic travel cancellation insurance policies will pay out up to £1,500 (some less expensive options can be lower) – or up to £7500 if you take out a premium policy. And these policies will pay out if your trip is cancelled or cut short, due to any of the reasons specified in your policy.

If you consider that 250,000 holidaymakers make claims relating to the cancellation of their holidays each year, it’s well worth considering. It may not make up for the disappointment of a missed holiday, but at least it will help ease the financial dent in your pocket.

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What does holiday cancellation insurance cover?

Holiday cancellation insurance policies tend to cover the cost of pre-booked flights and transport, accommodation, and any other expenses you’ve paid or agreed to pay and can’t recover from any other source.

In order to qualify for a payout, the circumstances must be ‘unforeseen’, or out of your control. For example:

- Being summoned for jury service

- The death of a close relative (as long as they weren’t knowingly ill when you took out the policy)

- A natural disaster

- A flood or fire at your home

- An accident, or illness

- Your destination becomes unsafe to travel to

For all of the above it’s best to check your individual policy details as the cover can differ.

On this last point, if you’ve booked a holiday and feel the country has become unsafe, check out the Foreign Office travel advice website. They have a long list of countries, for which they advise against ‘all travel’ or ‘all but essential travel’. If your holiday destination is deemed unsafe, your tour operator is usually legally obliged to offer you a full refund or an alternative holiday.

Make sure you read the small print to see exactly what your policy covers.

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Can I get holiday cancellation insurance to cover ‘any reason’?

One of the most commonly Googled terms when it comes to travel cancellation insurance is ‘any reason cancellation cover’. So let’s get this straight now: you cannot cancel your holiday and claim on insurance for any old reason. Insurance companies have strict criteria, and there are certain situations in which they won’t pay out at all, such as:

- If you run out of money

- Sickness or injury related to drug use

- Self-inflicted injuries

- Contractual obligations

If, for example, an urgent business appointment came up and you had to cancel, it wouldn’t qualify for reimbursement; nor would changing your mind about going away. Equally, while the illness of a ‘close relative’ includes a parent or sibling, it doesn’t usually cover the illness of a grandparent, aunt or cousin. Make sure you check your policy cover as you won’t be covered for a close relative if their illness was already known when you took out the policy.

Where can I find cheap holiday cancellation insurance?

Don't jet off into the sunset without ensuring you have adequate holiday cancellation cover in place. Whether you're taking a two-week holiday in the sun, a romantic city break, or you’re going on a round-the-world adventure, it will give you peace of mind knowing that, even if the worst happens, you won’t have lost everything. Cheap policies may exclude cancellation cover altogether. Typically, with a policy with a minimum of £3,000 cancellation cover would be sufficient - or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday.

We take all these factors into consideration and work with the most reputable travel insurance companies to find you the best value insurance for your travels. You can compare hundreds of holiday insurance cancellation quotes by using our price comparison service. And once you’ve selected one, all you have to do is sit back, relax and count down the days until your holiday begins! 

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