What Holiday Insurance Won’t Cover

People should always read the small print on travel insurance policies. It is advice I’ve given many times, but I still hear of people being surprised when their policy doesn’t reimburse them after they make a claim. The truth is that there are certain things that policies will charge extra for, or simply won’t cover at all. With that in mind, here’s a list of the things you’ll need to check the small print for, as the majority of policies won’t cover it by default:

If Your Baggage is Delayed for Less than a Day

If your baggage goes missing, your holiday insurance will cover it – that is, if it’s missing for over 24 hours. The trouble is that if it returns on hour 23, your travel insurance won’t help out with any emergency expenses you’ll have needed to make. For that reason, you should always keep important supplies in your carry on luggage in case you might be without your luggage for a little while. Oh, and delayed luggage is usually only covered on the outbound journey.

Watch out if you’re pregnant

If you’re pregnant, be extra aware of the small print involved. Some holiday insurance companies will cover child birth and complications of pregnancy but others will not – read the small print carefully, and be aware of any problems that might arise.

Death of a Furry Loved One

Although death and illness in the family is considered a suitable reason to claim your holiday cancellation insurance, death or illness of a family pet is not. Be warned, this doesn’t even extend to guide dogs!

If Your Holiday is Cancelled by Your Tour Operator

It’s common knowledge that cheap holiday insurance typically covers travellers claiming if certain circumstances prevent them from travelling (a death in the family, army conscription, etc.), but if the tour operator cancels then it’s a whole different kettle of fish. Most insurers won’t cancel this, so check your cancellation insurance carefully, and check what kind of guarantees your tour operators offer.

War Zones and Civil Unrest

On a similar note, if war or civil unrest breaks out during your visit, your holiday insurance company may not be keen to help. Certainly, no travel insurer will cover you if you choose to go somewhere that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against.

Check the Personal Item Coverage

Sometimes, you’ll find the most important items you could lose are not covered amongst your baggage and personal items coverage, so keep them on you at all times! These can include keys, money, tickets, documents and credit cards!

Extreme Sports Injuries

Cheap holiday insurance is not a license to be reckless! Be aware that many extreme sports won’t be covered as part of your regular travel insurance. So, if you’re planning on enjoying some sport while you’re abroad, check the list of exclusions to ensure your policy will protect you. As a general rule of thumb though, you’ll have a hard time finding a travel insurance company prepared to cover you against accidents obtained while white water rafting, bungee jumping, mountain climbing or paragliding!


Despite it being one of the most stressful things that a family can endure, the majority of cheap holiday insurance policies will not allow a trip cancellation based on either party filing a divorce. So if you’re yet to go, you’ll have to cancel out of your own pocket, and if you’re already out there you’ll have to either stick it out or pay to come home early yourself.

Mental Illness, or Injury Caused by Mental Illness

Mental illness is generally not covered by holiday insurance, so if you have any kind of emotional or mental crisis while on holiday, you’ll be paying for the damages from your own pocket in the majority of cases.

The lesson here? Check the small print very carefully! Some of these will never be covered by any insurer, others you may need to shop around for, or pay a little bit extra. There’s no such thing as a one size fits all travel insurance policy, so make sure the one that you pick is tailored to your needs – it could save you hundreds of pounds!

Source by Patrick Chong

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