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

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

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
minute read
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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.


The travel traffic light system currently states that trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant government.

Please note: from 4am on 4 October 2021, the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries.

Currently, if your destination of choice is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and ensure travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed with short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red list countries. Most insurance policies purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the FCDO has instructed citizens not to travel to won’t be valid, however, some insurance providers may offer reduced cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes. Should you have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing, to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

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

MoneyHelper has 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 MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

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 conditiondiabetes, 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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