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Compare holiday cancellation insurance

Compare holiday cancellation insurance

No one wants to cancel their holiday. But if you do ever have to, holiday cancellation insurance can at least help make sure that you don’t lose out on the money you’ve paid for it too.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
minute read
posted 6 DECEMBER 2019

What is holiday cancellation insurance?

Holiday cancellation insurance is a form of cover that can help if the unexpected happens and you have to cancel your holiday at the last minute. You might fall ill, for example, suffer a sudden bereavement, or have an accident that leaves you unable to travel.

Cancellation insurance will pay out if your trip is cancelled or cut short due to any of the reasons specified in your policy. It’s one of the key elements of your travel insurance, and can be a lifesaver if the worst happens and you have to cancel your trip.


As of 23rd Match 2020, the UK Government announced a series of restrictions to travel, public spaces and gatherings. For a minimum of three weeks, people are being instructed to stay at home whenever possible. For this reason, travel insurance policies purchased from this date, for trips within the UK with a start date before 13th April 2020, will not be valid.
The UK Government also instructed all British tourists and travellers, that are currently abroad, to return to the UK as soon as possible.
As of 17th March 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all non-essential travel abroad for an initial period of 30 days. This means that any travel insurance purchased from this date, for trips outside of the UK with a start date before 16th April 2020, will not be covered by the provider.
Coronavirus was declared a pandemic on 11th March 2020, so this may also affect your policy, particularly those taken out on or after that date. Please check any existing policies carefully, to find out what you’re covered for.
For more information please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

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 agreed expenses you can’t recover from any other source because of a last minute change of plans.

In order to qualify for a cancellation insurance payout, the circumstances must be “unforeseen” or out of your control, which usually means things like:

  • Natural disaster
  • Flood or fire at your home
  • Accident or illness
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Jury duty
  • Travel destination becomes unsafe.

What does holiday cancellation insurance NOT cover?

Holiday cancellation insurance does not cover you deciding you no longer want to go on holiday – it isn’t what’s called “any reason” cancellation insurance. To see exactly what is and isn’t covered, always check with individual insurance providers.

Want to make sure you get your money back on your holiday if the worst happens? You need holiday cancellation cover as part of your travel insurance.

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