Skip to content

Travel Insurance FAQs

Wondering if you need travel insurance or what type to get? Maybe you want to know if you can extend your policy or how excesses work. Either way, you can find the answers to all your questions in our travel insurance FAQs…

Wondering if you need travel insurance or what type to get? Maybe you want to know if you can extend your policy or how excesses work. Either way, you can find the answers to all your questions in our travel insurance FAQs…

Written by
Anna McEntee
Home, pet and travel insurance expert
Last Updated
6 APRIL 2022
5 min read
Share article

Do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance isn’t a legal requirement for most destinations, but it’s always worth getting when you’re going on a trip. If you don’t have it and something goes wrong – for example, your trip is cancelled, your belongings are stolen or you need medical treatment while you’re away – you’ll have to pay the costs from your own pocket. 

Prices for travel insurance can vary considerably, so make sure you shop around and do some research before you travel.

Customers with pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, your travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. Whatever happens, don’t lie to an insurance provider, because this could mean your claim is rejected. When you declare any medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show you quotes from insurance providers who will cover them, with no exclusions.

If your condition is more serious, MoneyHelper has a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone. You can call them on 0800 138 7777.

Why is travel insurance a good idea?

The main reason people get travel insurance is so that they’re covered for medical care if they get ill or have an accident abroad. But travel insurance could also help protect you from life’s other little surprises, such as a cancelled flight or lost baggage.

When should I take out my travel insurance policy?  

Ideally you should take out your policy as soon as you book your trip. That way you could be covered if your trip is cancelled or the holiday company goes bust before you set off.

What type of travel insurance cover is right for me?

The type of travel insurance you choose depends on where you’re going, what you’ll be doing and whether you have any pre-existing medical conditions. You’ll need to declare any conditions when shopping around for a travel insurance quote. 

Our guide to finding the right travel insurance should help you navigate what’s on offer, so you can find the best policy to suit your needs.

I have a pre-existing medical condition. How does this affect my travel insurance?

Whether a pre-existing condition affects your insurance will depend on the condition. In some cases, you could be charged a higher premium. Annoying as that might be, it’s important to disclose any pre-existing conditions when you apply for travel insurance. You won’t be covered for any conditions you don’t disclose and not telling your insurance provider about them could invalidate your whole policy.

Find out about the importance of comparing travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions with our simple guide.

Do I need travel insurance for my family?

We strongly recommended making sure the whole family has travel insurance in place. It could be easier to take out a policy that covers all of you rather than individual policies. 

Our guide to family travel insurance will tell you more about the process and benefits of travel insurance that covers the whole family.

Does family travel insurance cover us if we live at separate addresses?

You’ll need to check your policy to be sure. Some policies only cover children (or step-children) if they live with the policyholder. If you’re not sure who’s covered, check your policy documents and read our guide to family travel insurance after separation.

My child is travelling for a student exchange programme. What insurance will they need?

The insurance they’ll need will depend on what activities they plan on doing while they’re away. Are they going skiing or rock climbing? Will they be working while they’re away? And how long are they going for?

Start by checking if your child’s university or college has insurance in place, then take it from there.

What’s the best student travel insurance?

As always, it depends on what you’ll be doing, where and for how long. Our guide to finding the best travel insurance for your gap year tells you all you need to know about choosing the right policy.

Frequently asked questions

What is a policy excess?

A policy excess is the amount you’ll have to pay if you make a claim. Having a higher excess will usually mean you pay less for your premium – and vice versa. It’s sometimes possible to find travel insurance with no excess at all, but it might be more expensive.

Does single-trip travel insurance cover multiple destinations?

Single-trip travel insurance is designed to cover you for one holiday. If you’re planning on visiting many destinations during your trip, you’re likely to need multi-trip insurance.

Does travel insurance increase at age 65?

You may find that, as you get into your mid-60s, the cost of your travel insurance premiums increases. This is partly because insurance providers think there’s more risk of older people becoming ill while they’re away. Find out more about over 60s travel insurance.

What is the maximum age for travel insurance?

Many insurance providers offer travel insurance with no upper age limit. However, some providers won’t insure you if you’re over 80, or even 75, so you may find your choice is more limited as you get older.

Are there any activity restrictions?

It’s important to make sure that you’re insured for all the activities you plan to do while you’re away. Standard travel insurance might exclude certain activities, such as winter sports or diving. If you’re planning on taking part in extreme sports or activities during your trip, you should check your policy to make sure you’re covered. You may need to upgrade your policy or find a specialist one.

Does travel insurance cover COVID-19?

Some travel insurance policies offer cover for disruption caused by coronavirus – this might include cover for cancelling your trip or medical costs. Find out more about coronavirus and travel insurance

Do I need to have both doses of the COVID-19 vaccines or booster jabs for valid cover?

You’ll need to check your policy to be sure. Many insurance providers might still cover you if you’re unvaccinated – however, it’s unlikely that this cover will extend to COVID-related claims.

Can I extend my travel insurance policy?

Some providers might let you extend your cover if you decide to stay away for longer, but check your policy to be sure. If you want to extend, you’ll need to contact your provider before your travel insurance runs out.

Can I get travel insurance if I’m pregnant?

Yes, you can get travel insurance if you’re pregnant. However, there are likely to be conditions attached. Your cover will protect you in the event of complications arising from your pregnancy, such as premature birth or an emergency C-section. It won’t, however, cover you for routine treatment, such as scans or a normal labour.

How long does it take to get money back from travel insurance?

How long it takes your insurance provider to reimburse you will vary, depending on the claim. To make sure you’re paid as quickly as possible, read your policy carefully and make sure you’ve fully completed the claim form and included all the necessary paperwork. To speed everything along, it may be worth calling your insurance provider to check exactly what evidence they need from you.

Looking for a quote?

Get a new travel insurance quote in minutes to see if you can save.

Get a quote
Compare travel insurance Get a quote