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Things travel insurance will cover you for… and things it won’t

Things travel insurance will cover you for… and things it won’t

Travel insurance can cover you for medical treatment, trip cancellation and losing your luggage while you’re away. But not every policy will cover every eventuality. We take a look at what’s likely to be covered and what isn’t

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
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Posted 10 SEPTEMBER 2019

Will my travel insurance cover me for bungee jumping? 

You’ll be covered for bungee jumping if it’s listed in your travel insurance policy. If you’re intending to take part in sports (you can also get specialist insurance for winter sports) or other activities when you’re away, you need to be specifically covered for them – check your policy if you’re not sure. 
While you’re away, if you decide to take part in an activity not listed on your policy, give your insurance provider a call and they may be able to provide additional cover.


On 7 September 2020, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated the list of countries that are exempt from its ongoing advice against all non-essential international travel.

If you choose to travel overseas to a destination where the FCDO is advising against non-essential travel at the time of your departure, then your insurance policy will be invalid, and any claim likely to be rejected.

For domestic travel, please check the local public health rules for the destination you wish to travel to within the United Kingdom.

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

Does all travel insurance cover repatriation? 

Most travel insurance covers repatriation as standard. Repatriation means bringing you back to your country of origin or the country where you’re a citizen.

You might need to be repatriated if you fall ill or have a serious accident abroad. Cover limits are often very high as repatriation can be expensive – you might need to be escorted home or taken home in an air ambulance, for example.

Travel insurance might also cover what’s called ‘repatriation of remains’; that is, bringing your body back if you die abroad. Check to see if your policy includes this.

Will travel insurance cover me if I have an accident when I’ve been drinking?

Most travel insurance policies will include an alcohol exclusion, which can mean they won’t pay out if you have an accident while you’ve been drinking excessively or even if you have property lost or stolen while under the influence. This doesn’t usually mean you can’t drink at all while you’re away – however, check the small print in your policy carefully. 

Does travel insurance always cover cancellation?

Travel insurance will usually cover you if your trip is cancelled for reasons beyond your control – illness, for example, or if the Foreign Office advises against travel to your destination after you’ve booked your trip.

But travel insurance won’t cover you if you simply decide you don’t want to go on holiday. And it’s unlikely to cover you if you have to cancel because of a pre-existing medical condition.

Can travel insurance cover me for a medical condition I already have?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition – diabetes, for example – you’ll need to state this in your travel insurance application. Depending on the condition, you might need to look for a specialist policy as not all travel insurance providers offer this cover within a standard policy.

Does travel insurance cover the death of a parent or other family member?

Cancelling a trip because of close family bereavement is often covered by travel insurance. But insurance providers differ in who they consider to be a close family member. And if a parent or family member dies because of a pre-existing condition, you may find that you’re not covered.

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Are airline strikes covered by travel insurance?

If your flight is delayed or cancelled because of a strike, then you can apply to the airline for compensation. Your travel insurance should cover you for other costs, such as accommodation and car rental. This may depend on whether you bought your tickets before the strike became public knowledge.

Am I covered by travel insurance if something is stolen from my car?

Cover for theft is standard in travel insurance policies, so it’s likely that you’ll be covered if something is stolen from your car. But just as you would at home, you need to take care of your possessions while you’re away so as not to invalidate your travel insurance. Make sure your belongings aren’t visible if you leave them in the car, for example. And get a police report or report from the airline if your belongings are lost or stolen. Your travel insurance may require you to do this within a set time, so read your policy carefully.

Will travel insurance cover me if my jewellery is stolen?

If you have a valuable piece of jewellery, you’ll need to check that it’s within the single item cover limit of your travel insurance – this is the amount the policy will pay out on a single item. If it’s not, you may be able to increase the level of cover. Alternatively, you could take out specialist insurance.

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