Travel Insurance for Dummies

Have you ever looked at policy documents and not understood the jargon? Never understood why your excess is deducted from your claim? We don’t blame you! Travel insurance can be baffling, so we’ve created this guide ‘Travel Insurance for Dummies’ to help break down the ins and outs of your policy.

Select the section or question that you want to know more about below:

What is Travel Insurance?

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance protects you from financial loss that can occur before or during your trip. This could be something as simple as a lost suitcase, to something more extreme such as a need to cancel your trip or a medical emergency abroad.

When it comes to travel insurance it isn’t just about financial protection. You may find yourself needing assistance or medical-related guidance. This could be to arrange medical treatment, monitor your wellbeing whilst under hospital care, act as an interpreter, or help to replace a lost passport- and travel insurance does this too!

How does travel insurance work?

Travel insurance is there to reimburse you for a financial loss related to your trip, based on the cover you selected when you purchased your policy. Insurance is there to ‘indemnify’ your financial loss (put you back into the same financial position you were in before something happened that meant you were affected financially).

There are three things that are important to note about travel insurance:

• Whilst travel insurance is there to reimburse you, it is generally intended as a last resort. Often people go directly to the insurer, when in actuality you should be refunded by another party because of travel regulations or other parties being able to offer reimbursement.

For example, if your flight is cancelled by your airline, then the airline should give you the money back. If they refuse to compensate you, that’s when you would submit a claim.

• Travel insurance is designed to cover unforeseen circumstances. This means anything that was known or ‘deemed within your control’ is automatically excluded from cover. For example, if you take out travel insurance for your holiday after a travel ban has been announced as a result of COVID-19, and needed to cancel your trip because the travel ban is still in place, your cancellation costs would not be covered by the insurer.

• Travel insurance does not cover everything. Every policy is different, with its own cover levels and conditions. Checking the policy cover before you purchase is important, and ensures that the policy meets your expectations. You’ll also know your cover rights and what kind of reimbursement you are entitled to.

Travel insurance may seem confusing, but it is actually very simple. So long as you know your cover levels and you take out a policy as soon as the trip is booked, it can be extremely useful.

For example, say you have booked a holiday, but two days prior to departure you become unwell and a medical professional deems you unable to go on the trip. Your airline refuses you a refund on the basis that the flight is still going ahead so it is nothing on their end that has caused the cancellation. This is where your travel insurance comes in. You can put in a claim providing evidence from your doctor that you were unable to go away and of the airline refusing to refund. Once approved your claim should be paid by your insurance provider.

Why do you need travel insurance?

Although travel insurance isn’t mandatory, it is still an essential part of any trip. Whilst we hope everything runs smoothly when you do go on holiday, that is not always the reality, so it is important to have protection in place should anything happen.

Statistics from ABTA show that 1 in 5 Brits have required some kind of medical treatment whilst abroad. With the average medical claim costing around £1,300, taking out a policy for less than a tenth of the price suddenly seems very worth it.

Keep in mind travel insurance is so much more than just medical cover abroad. It offers protection both before your trip, for various situations that could cause you to cancel, and during the holiday itself. You can also tailor your policy to suit you and your trip, by adding activity packs, including winter sports cover or adding coronavirus cover.

To find out more about the benefits of travel insurance, please read our dedicated travel insurance benefits page here.

How much is travel insurance?

The price of travel insurance varies, with several factors being taken into account. In the same way that model and mileage affect the amount that you pay for car insurance, factors such as age, destination and duration of your trip all contribute to the final cost of your policy.

The price is also dependent on whether you’ve selected any optional cover, cover level and whether you have declared any medical conditions.

Whilst price is an obvious factor that could influence your purchase, it is important that you look at more than just that and ensure the level of cover is right for you. At Holidaysafe, we are up to 40% cheaper than household names with customers saving £20.52 on average when going away on a 14- day trip*.

* Based on 2021 data for a customer travelling to Europe for fourteen days on a Holidaysafe single trip Standard policy, compared against 2 household brands.

Are all travel insurance policies the same?

No travel insurance policy is the exact same, as what you’re covered for is dependent on what medical conditions you may have declared, your specific cover level and the scenario that you need to make a claim for.

Insurers do tend to offer similar types of policies (such as single trip or annual multi trip policies), where they differ is through which cover levels are offered.

It is standard for travel insurers to offer an Annual Multi-Trip and a Single-Trip policy, however, Holidaysafe also offers specialist policies for Longstay, Staycation, and many more. It is important to remember that one policy doesn’t suit everyone.

For example, if you enjoy a few trips throughout the year, you’re might find that a Multi-Trip policy is more cost-effective. This permits you to travel an unlimited number of times during a 12-month period. If your trip is one-off, then you are probably better suited to a Single-Trip policy.

When is best to purchase travel insurance?

You should purchase travel insurance as soon as a holiday is booked. It’s not uncommon for people to leave it until the last minute (we get it – it’s not always a fun purchase to make), however protecting you and your finances for your trip is essential.

Many people do not realise that there are two parts to a policy; the cover that kicks in before your trip and the cover that starts after you’ve left for your trip.

If you’ve purchased a single trip policy, cancellation cover starts from the moment you purchase your policy and covers you until you leave for your trip. If you’ve purchased a multi-trip policy, cancellation cover starts from your policy start date and lasts for the duration of your policy for any bookings you make.

Bear in mind that by taking out insurance as soon as the trip is booked, it also protects you from more unforeseen circumstances. If you leave it too late to get a policy you could find yourself in a situation where your losses cannot be covered and a change in situation could be deemed as a ‘known event’ and your claim declined.

When is travel insurance necessary?

Travel insurance is an essential accessory to your trip. Whether you are off on a two-week beach holiday abroad, a long weekend away in Europe or even a staycation in the UK – you still need to protect yourself and your trip. No one wants a financial loss, or to be stuck in a situation where they have no assistance and support. By taking out travel insurance you do not have to worry about any of that. It’s there to give you peace of mind should the worst happen.

What Types of Policy Are There?

What is a single trip policy?

As the name suggests, single trip insurance offers you cover for one holiday over a set number of days or weeks. Depending on the level of cover you choose, most policies will reimburse your medical expenses should you fall ill or have an accident. They will usually also offer protection if your luggage gets lost or in some circumstances if your holiday is cancelled.

What is a multi-trip policy?

If you plan to take more than one holiday or trip a year, then it may be cheaper to buy a multi-trip policy, which covers you for all trips taken in any 12-month period. The cost will vary depending on where you plan to go, but it often works out cheaper than taking out insurance for each individual trip.

What is a family travel insurance policy?

If you’re travelling abroad as a family it is probably worth getting a single policy for everyone on the trip. Children under 18 are normally covered free of charge. As with most other travel insurance policies they usually offer cover for cancellation, medical emergencies, loss of belongings, money and travel documents.

Do I need a Winter Sports insurance policy?

If you’re off to the mountains for a winter holiday, you’ll probably need a specialist policy which will cover you for specific situations and eventualities. Included in most wintersports policies is specialist cover for equipment & ski pass loss; equipment hire – If your luggage doesn’t arrive on time; off-piste skiing within the resort boundaries and medical costs.

If you’re planning on doing any activity abroad, it’s important to make sure the specific activity is covered under your travel insurance policy. Wintersports policies cover winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding as standard, but if you have a standard policy you will need to add these on.

What are activity packs?

Most travel insurance policies will cover a limited number of activities as standard. These activities are not seen as high risk and will usually include popular holiday pastimes such as swimming, leisure cycling, theme parks and pony-trekking. Other activities including water-skiing, windsurfing, sandboarding and go-karting are all seen to be riskier. So if you’re planning to do more than lie by the pool you should check what is and isn’t covered, then buy the right activity pack to cover what you plan to do.

Coronavirus Cover

What is coronavirus cover?

Coronavirus cover is additional or enhanced cover added to policies in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. It can include different scenarios depending on the provider and can be included as standard within policies or as an optional extension that you will need to pay more for.

The coronavirus cover is an enhanced cover on our policies which includes cover for cancellation if you or anyone else on the policy has issues relating to COVID-19.

Is coronavirus cover included as standard in my policy?

Sometimes coronavirus cover is included as standard, and sometimes it is available as an optional extension that may require you to pay more for.

At Holidaysafe, coronavirus cover is included on all Standard, Premier, Premier Plus and Platinum single and multi-trip policies. When you are getting a quote the policies that show the COVID badge will provide cover for problems you could face due to COVID-19 during your trip.

Why is coronavirus cover important?

In the present climate, coronavirus cover is important if you’re planning on travelling abroad (when it is safe and legal to do so). Due to the uncertainties of travel and how quickly everything can change, knowing you have the right cover in place can help provide you with peace of mind during your trip. Coronavirus cover within travel insurance policies can include cover for your cancellation costs if you test positive for COVID 19, cover in the event that you catch coronavirus abroad, and cover if you’re denied boarding as a result of suspected coronavirus.

Our coronavirus cover is essential to anyone travelling in the future. You can add coronavirus protection onto a Staycation Plus, Standard, Premier, Premier Plus and Platinum Single and Multi-Trip policies (winter and non-winter sports), making sure your trip is protected.

What does coronavirus cover include?

Coronavirus cover is cover that is added to policies due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This cover can include different scenarios, and these differ depending on which provider you are with. It can be included as standard within policies or as an extension which you’ll need to pay a bit extra for.

Holidaysafe’s coronavirus cover includes cover for your cancellation costs if you test positive for COVID 19, cover in the event that you catch coronavirus abroad, and cover if you’re denied boarding as a result of coronavirus symptoms (such as a high temperature).

For more information on what you are covered for and what event would be needed in the event of a claim visit Coronavirus Travel Insurance Cover | Holidaysafe.

Medical Declarations

How do medical conditions affect travel insurance?

Whilst you may think that travel insurance will be difficult to obtain with pre-existing medical conditions, this is not always the case. In fact, declaring your medical conditions will help the insurance provider to come up with a policy that is most suitable for your individual needs, and ensures you’re covered in the event that you need to cancel your trip or seek medical attention abroad.

Declaring medical conditions can increase your final premium, but often stable and well-controlled medical conditions, such as those controlled under medication, regular treatment or those which have not had a flare-up recently, will not always increase travel insurance premiums as it depends on how risky the insurance provider believes the condition to be.

Why do I need to declare my medical conditions?

It’s very important to declare all of your medical conditions to your travel insurance provider when taking out your policy. Otherwise, you could find potential claims being declined which could leave you with large medical bills for treatment if you have needed it during your trip.

travel insurance advice

For example, if you chose not to declare high blood pressure when prompted to when you bought your policy, and you suffer from a heart attack whilst on your trip, the insurance provider could decline your claim as the conditions could be linked. In a similar way, if you had treatment for cancer years ago that weakened your bones, and you fell and broke your leg whilst on your holiday, your claim could be declined for the same reason.

Being honest and transparent with your insurer in regards to your medical conditions will give you the best chance of your claim being paid out should you find yourself in a position where you are required to make one.

What medical conditions do I need to declare?

As a general rule, you should always disclose information regarding medical conditions that you are currently being treated taking medication for. For some medical conditions, there is often a timeframe that dictates whether or not you need to declare them. However, it is important to remember that this varies from provider to provider and should therefore be clarified by checking the terms and conditions before you purchase a policy.

We have provided a few examples of the prompts we use to ask our customers if they have ever had any of the below medical conditions that need declaring:

  • Heart or circulatory conditions
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Suffered a stroke
  • A breathing condition (such as asthma, COPD or pneumonia)
  • Cancer (even if you are now in remission)
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Diabetes (including when diet-controlled)

It is worth noting that pregnancy is not usually classified as a medical condition by insurers. Therefore you should be covered for pregnancy-related medical issues, however, if you have had prior complications regarding pregnancy it most likely will need to be declared.

Due to the vast range of medical conditions that exist and the varying degree by which people may be affected, it is strongly advised to check all medical-related queries you may have with your provider to ensure you are covered when it comes to your travel insurance.

Can I get cover for my medical condition?

Thousands of medical conditions can be covered by travel insurance providers, even those which are more complex. Getting cover for these conditions also doesn’t always need to cost the earth in the form of expensive premiums. The key is to be honest and transparent with the insurer so you can obtain a policy which best suits your needs and enjoy your trip abroad with confidence and peace of mind.

Most medical conditions can be covered by travel insurance policies, but it will depend on the insurance provider you are using and your specific condition as the provider will always make a decision based on the ‘risk’ presented to them.

Some common examples of things that are generally not covered include:

  • If you’ve had surgery in the past 6 weeks (because of risk of infection)
  • Changes to medication within the last 4 weeks (because of unknown side effects)
  • Recent diagnosis (within 4 weeks)
  • Awaiting the results of investigations or scans (because it would mean insuring an unknown risk)

Cancellation Cover

What is cancellation cover?

Cancellation costs, loss of deposit or even paying for your entire holiday and having to cancel it can leave you with a significant financial loss. Cancellation cover is one of the most-claimed-on sections of any travel insurance policy, above medical expenses and personal possessions cover.

Cancellation cover can protect you against financial loss, should your trip be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. In terms of cancellation, what you’re covered for can vary depending on the policy; this can include but isn’t limited to loss of accommodation, unused flights, pre-booked excursions, pre-paid car hire and many other expenses.

Why do I need cancellation cover?

Cancellation cover is there to help you out if your trip is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Although we don’t really like to think about holidays being cancelled, sometimes unfortunately, that can be the case for a range of reasons and cancellation cover is put in place to offer you the protection to get your money back for the trip.

Cancellation cover is needed whether you’re a last-minute holiday goer or have planned the trip months in advance. For last-minute bookings, you may not feel like you need cancellation cover, but it’s worth checking if the policy has it, and curtailment cover in the event that you have to cancel your trip and come home early.

For those booking advance, buying travel insurance straight away can give you the protection leading up to the trip, should you need to cancel or your trip is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

If you purchase a policy without cancellation cover, if it comes to your holiday being cancelled or in the event that you need to cancel it, you may find yourself unable to claim back any financial loss from your travel insurance provider, and dependent on the circumstances, some travel agents and tour operators are not obliged to reimburse you.

When does cancellation cover start?

The start of your cancellation cover is dependent on the type of policy you have chosen, whether that’s a single trip, multi trip or longstay policy.

For single trip and longstay policies, your core policy cover will begin on the start date of your trip, however, your cancellation cover starts as soon as payment has been processed for your policy. This is why it’s so important to purchase a travel insurance policy as soon as you book your holiday, to offer protection for cancellation from the date you purchase your policy and the day you leave for your trip.

Multi-trip policies are slightly different as they’re designed to cover you across a 365-day period. The start date of your policy should be when you’d like cancellation cover to begin, rather than when your first trip of the year is – as that can offer you protection for financial loss leading up to the trip. Generally, when booking a multi-trip policy, it’s recommended the start date of a multi-trip policy should be within 31 days of paying for the policy.

How much cancellation cover do I need?

Cancellation cover is usually included as standard on a policy; however, the level of cancellation sums insured (the limit that you can claim for) is dependent on which level of cover you purchase. It’s important to read your policy wordings to understand what you’re covered for in terms of cancellation.

The higher the ‘sums insured’ on your policy, the higher amount of protection you will have in terms of cancellation. For a cheaper trip that is only a short weekend away wouldn’t require as much cover as a trip that costs thousands of pounds. Take into consideration the cost of flights, accommodation, excursions, car hire and any other extras you’ve purchased as part of your trip before making the decision of what level of cover is right for you – and see which cover level matches what you have paid for your trip.

It’s also worth noting that when purchasing a policy, the total sum that is covered is usually per person instead of per policy. When booking your policy, you may be able to save money by choosing the lower cancellation cover option as long as you are both listed on the same policy. For example, two people paid £500 each for a holiday and they both purchase a policy with £1k cover, but they only need £500 each of it – and could therefore buy a cheaper policy each.

Cancellation is covered as standard as part of most of our single trip, multi-trip and longstay policies. You’re able to increase that level of cover with our Premier, Premier Plus and Premier Platinum levels of cover, which will increase the amount you’re covered for in terms of cancellation.

For example, our Standard policy covers up to £1,500 if you’re unable to go on your trip, whilst our Premier Platinum offers cover up to £7,500. Review your trip, the costs associated and what you may need to cancel for before selecting a policy.

Will travel insurance cover cancellation because of work?

Cancellation cover can vary in what you’re covered for in terms of work-related reasons for cancelling. Generally, standard policies can offer some level of cover if you are made redundant prior to the trip, however, if you need to cancel because you can’t get the time off work or any other reasoning, this isn’t covered.

On our Standard single and multi-trip policies, we offer cancellation cover if you’re made redundant or if a close business colleague falls ill/passes away prior to your trip. We also offer as standard, cancellation cover if you or a travel companion had annual leave withdrawn and are in the armed forces, emergency services, medical or nursing professions or are senior employees of the government and have to work.

Will travel insurance cover cancellation because of illness?

Generally speaking, travel insurance policies cover for cancellation due to your own illness, injury and death, as well as illness, injury or death of a travel companion or of a close relative who isn’t travelling with you. Some policies can also offer more extensive cover, offering cancellation due to ‘reasons beyond your control’.

It is essential that you declare your medical conditions when buying your policy, because if you need to make a claim on any reasons for cancellation, including illness linked to your condition, it will only be covered if you have declared and paid for your medical condition to be covered.

If you need to cancel your trip because you have been diagnosed with an infectious disease like coronavirus, you’ll need to check this is covered within your policy wording. Holidaysafe offer cancellation cover if you are diagnosed or have tested positive for coronavirus within 14 days of you being due to travel.

Will travel insurance cover cancellation because of pregnancy?

Cancellation cover can vary depending on your situation in regards to pregnancy. If you’re cancelling for the reason of falling pregnant, there is no cover. However, if you have underlying health conditions and your doctor deems it unsafe to travel whilst you are pregnant, there can generally be cover and grounds to cancel your trip.

We offer cover which includes cancellation, medical emergencies and repatriation all surrounding pregnancies. In terms of how much cover, this will be dependent on how far along you are in your pregnancy and the reasoning for cancelling your trip.

For more information to help you with travelling while pregnant, please read our complete pregnancy travel guide here.

What reasons can I cancel my trip?

Your trip can be cancelled for many different reasons including illness, a family death, a natural disaster, and financial failure of your travel company or for any other unforeseen scenario. What you’re covered for in terms of cancellation is dependent on your policy.

Generally, on most travel insurance policies, you’re able to cancel due to illness, injury and death of you, your travel companion or a close family member. Also, cancellation due to jury service or being made redundant is usually included across the market.

You can upgrade your policy to cover more cancellation circumstances. We offer cancellation cover as standard for the above reasons, but we also cover you if you need to cancel your trip as a result of your home being burgled or damaged, and if the FCDO change their travel advice and you’re unable to go on your trip.

Our Premier, Premier Plus and Platinum policies can also offer additional cancellation cover including if your end supplier fails financially before you go on your trip and whilst you’re away.  The higher the cover level you purchase, the higher the amount of cover you’ll have.

The main thing to remember is to read your policy wordings before you travel to make you aware of what instances you are covered for and have grounds to make a claim for, as well as what would be required if you needed to make a claim.

Is the amount of cancellation cover per person or for everyone on the policy?

It varies between providers, but cancellation cover is per person on your policy. This means when it comes to cancelling your trip, the person named on the policy will be covered for the total amount of cancellation cover – and be able to claim up to that back. If for instance four people are named on the policy and the cancellation cover is £3,000, you’ll have four times that amount to potentially claim back if your trip is cancelled.

Making a Travel Insurance Claim

Am I able to make a claim?

Generally speaking, what you can claim for depends on what your loss is, and whether you are covered under the policy you have purchased. Providers include different clauses within the terms of their policy, so for example, even if two providers included cancellation cover of £3,000, only one may include cover for cancellation if you are made redundant. It’s worth checking your policy wordings to ensure your cover meets your needs and expectations.

We keep all of our policy wordings on our website here, or within our customer area, which you can login to here.

Once you have found your policy wording, we recommend you search for the section or word you are looking for by clicking control (as seen on your keyboard as ‘Ctrl’ or ‘Cmd’ for Mac users) and the F key on your keyboard. This will then take you to anywhere in the wording where that phrase is used, and you should be able to find out quickly if you have cover for the claim you wish to make. 

If can’t access the search bar, do not worry, you can contact us and we can help answer any questions you have and guide you to what cover you have. 

Remember, our appointed Claims Team will review every claim on an individual basis along with the evidence that you have supplied them. We cannot, unfortunately, guarantee your claim will be paid until our technical assessment team has reviewed it.   

How to make a claim?

Firstly, it is important to make sure you are covered. Different travel insurance providers vary with the cover that they offer, so make sure you’re checking your policy wording document for the specific situation that you’re claiming for (i.e. the cost of your holiday as a result of needing to cancel your holiday).

If you are currently abroad, receiving medical treatment and need to start a claim, please call our appointed 24/7 emergency assistance team so they can set you up a case, give you advice on the next steps and support you where needed.  

Next, you need to choose the correct claim form, and make sure you fill out every section and include as much detail as possible.  

Our appointed Claims team want to ensure the process of making a claim is as easy and clear as possible. We’ve detailed the process, and what to expect on this page.

The claims process and our claim team will clearly explain what supporting documents you will need to submit with your claim form. We need these additional documents as they will be the evidence to support your claim and also make sure we settle your claim correctly.  

It is so important that we have as much detail as possible, if you need to you can also submit an additional word document to help us fully understand your claim, and making sure you are clear on what you are claiming for is so important. What can we say, we are a fan of lists!

When do I need to make a claim?

If you are abroad and need to claim back medical expenses please contact our emergency assistance team who can set up a case, support you where needed and explain the next steps. 
Ideally, we would suggest submitting your claim no longer than three months after the incident in question. Having said that, we will never rush you. We know having to submit a claim can be down to distressing circumstances, so once you are able to get all of the information needed to make a claim, as mentioned in ‘How to make a claim?’ then send it over to us. 

Why is money deducted from my claim amount?

The main reason that money is deducted from the settlement of your claim is because of the excess on your policy, also known as the ‘deductible’.

Excess is the amount of money you agree to pay towards the claim at the time that you purchase your policy. This amount can be different on different sections of your policy and can be anything from £0 to £250 dependent on the level of cover you have purchased. This amount is agreed when you purchase your policy, so once you submit a claim this amount is usually deducted from the settlement. The most important thing to also remember is that an excess is deducted per person, per claim submitted.  

For example, if you are claiming for departure delay and have two people on the policy with an excess of £50, then £100 will be deducted from your settlement.  

How long does the claim process take?

This does depend on the complexities of your claim, the type of claim submitted, and if your travel insurance company has all of the supporting documents and information to correctly assess the claim. If you haven’t already check back to this question ‘How to make a claim?’.  

At Holidaysafe, for a fairly simple claim like Cancellation, and providing we have all of the information to fully assess a claim, this should be completed around 10-15 working days. A Medical claim can potentially take longer due to having to work with third-parties like the medical facilities or your GP.  

Personal Possessions Cover

What is possessions cover?

Losing or damaging valuables while on holiday can not only be a real inconvenience, but it can sometimes be detrimental to a trip. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you’re happy with the amount of personal possessions cover included in your policy, should anything unexpected or unforeseen happen to your belongings while you’re away.

Possessions cover protects traveller’s valuables against theft, loss, or accidental damage, and can cover anything from one single item to the content of an entire missing suitcase.

Our Holidaysafe policies detail the total amount in which you can claim for, for example, should you lose your whole suitcase, and also provides a further breakdown of how much you can claim for individual items. The amount you can claim for may vary between the different types of policy, so it’s always worth comparing the different cover levels to find a cover limit that suits you best.

It’s also worth knowing that at Holidaysafe we do not cover gadgets that require power either from the mains or from a battery as standard. Therefore, a gadget extension is necessary to protect phones, tablets and other types of electronic items. Additionally, lost or stolen money would not fall under the possessions section and therefore different cover limits would apply.

Lastly, some of our policies carry a compulsory excess should you submit a claim, so it can often be beneficial to select a policy that has a lower excess if your belongings are relatively low-cost. Otherwise, you may end up covering more in excess deductions than you’re getting back!

What is possessions cover?

At Holidaysafe, we define ‘possessions’ or ‘valuables’ as rings, watches (excluding smart watches), necklaces, earrings, bracelets, body rings, any semi or non-precious stones or metals, costume jewellery and any electrical item that is not a gadget which requires power either from the mains or from a battery.

Mobile phones and other electronic items such as iPads, MacBooks etc are not included under the standard ‘possessions’ cover, so we would recommend that customers who want to protect these types of items take out one of our gadget extensions. 

Like most insurers, we do expect our customers to take reasonable steps to look after their belongings while abroad and not leave items left unattended, unless locked away in a secure place. It sounds silly but sometimes we forget our common sense while on holiday and this can sometimes affect a claim. For example, have you ever left your phone in your beach bag while you’ve gone for a swim in the sea? You wouldn’t do it in the UK, so why would you abroad?

Our policies also detail necessary steps customers should take if they find themselves in a situation where their possessions have been lost, stolen or damaged. For example, if you lose or think your valuable has been stolen, you must notify the local police and obtain a crime reference number within 24 hours of the incident happening. Failure to do so could seriously impact the success of a claim.

Lastly, as with most types of possessions cover, it’s also important to be able to provide proof of ownership or purchase should you need to submit a claim. Therefore, it’s always wise to keep receipts of any valuable possessions or even take photos of them before your trip, as you may well be asked for these if you submit a claim.


Annual Multi-Trip: What does Annual Multi Trip mean?

This is a policy type that will cover you all year round for an unlimited number of trips, providing the length of each trip doesn’t exceed the maximum duration limit.

Most Annual Multi-Trip policies will cover you for 31 days maximum duration, but we also provide cover for trips of 45 and 60 days, depending on the level of cover you purchase.

Baggage: What is meant by baggage in a travel insurance policy?

Each of your suitcases, trunks and similar containers (including their contents), possessions and items you wear, carry or use, that are taken on or purchased during a trip by you, (other than those specifically excluded in your policy wordings). Baggage usually includes sports equipment such as golf clubs, winter sports, equipment, scuba equipment and mobility aids such as wheelchairs, unless stated otherwise by your policy.

Cancellation Cover: What is cancellation cover?

Cancellation cover provides cover for costs you’ve paid if you have to cancel a trip because of a sudden and unexpected event that affects you, a close relative or a travelling companion (please check your policy wordings for specific reasons that you are covered for).

Single Trip cover – cancellation cover will begin from the cover start date shown on your policy schedule and end when you begin your trip.

For Annual Multi-Trip cover – cancellation cover will begin on the cover start date shown on your policy schedule or the date you booked your trip (whichever is later) and ends when you start your trip (or when your policy cover ends if this date is earlier and you do not renew your policy).

Claim: You make a claim when you ask your insurer to pay you the sum of money that’s owed to you under the terms of your insurance policy.

Curtailment (cutting your trip short): What does curtailment mean?

If you need to cut your trip short and return home before your original return date, this would be classed as curtailment.

Generally, cover for curtailment will allow you to claim back a pro-rata refund of any pre-paid accommodation, car hire or holiday excursions you will no longer be able to use following your return home.

Some policies will also cover reasonable travel expenses you’ve had to pay on your return home unless your return trip has been arranged for you by your travel insurer. Your insurance policy will allow you to claim back expenses if you are at a financial loss.

Please check your policy wordings for the specific reasons that you can cut your trip short and make a claim for.

Coronavirus Cover: What is coronavirus cover?

Coronavirus cover is cover added into policies specifically to cover situations to do with coronavirus or COVID 19. Cover can be included as standard in policies, or available as an extension or add-on to your standard policy cover. Cover can include different situations, including catching coronavirus abroad and requiring emergency medical care or repatriation to the UK, or having to cancel your trip if you’ve tested positive for COVID 19 prior to your trip.

Emergency medical expenses: What are emergency medical expenses in travel insurance used for?

Within a travel insurance policy, emergency medical expenses provide cover for unexpected emergency medical treatment costs and to arrange to get you back home if you’re too unwell to continue your trip (please note that emergency medical treatment costs are not available if you only have UK cover because the NHS will cover these).

Generally, no cover will be provided if you’re travelling to receive treatment or get medical advice or if you know you’ll need treatment while you’re away.

Check your policy wordings for more specific details around the cover and the amount you can claim for.

European Cover: When you purchase your policy, you’ll be asked about either your destination country or the destination region you are travelling to. European cover is cover for travel in destinations in Europe only. If you were to travel outside of these destinations with only European cover on your policy, and if something were to happen which resulted in you making a claim, your claim could be declined on the basis that you were travelling outside of your selected destination.

The countries listed are:

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Channel Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greek Islands, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia west of the Ural mountains, San Marino, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Wales and Vatican City State.

Excess: What is an excess?

The excess is the amount you must pay towards a claim before any payment will be made and is shown on your policy schedule. This amount applies to each claim but does not apply to all sections of the policy. Please refer to your policy wordings for the full terms and conditions.

Exclusions: Exclusions are things that your insurance won’t cover. Please refer to your policy wordings for full details of your policy’s exclusions.

Extension: What are travel insurance extensions?

Extensions are additional levels of cover that you can add on to your policy. For example, if you are planning on taking part in sporting activities on your holiday, you can add a sports extension.

FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office): What is the FCDO?

Formerly known as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), and commonly called the Foreign Office (FO), is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom.

Force Majeure: What is force majeure?

Force Majeure is an event that happens outside of your control, including natural disasters, civil unrest, ‘acts of God’ and any other unforeseeable event that could disrupt your trip.

Gadget: What is defined as a gadget in travel insurance?

Gadgets include; Mobile/ Smart Phones, Laptops, Tablets, Digital Cameras, MP3 Players, CD/DVD Players, Games Consoles, Video Cameras, Camera Lenses, Bluetooth Headsets, Satellite Navigation Devices, PDAs, E-Readers, Head/Ear Phones, Portable Health Monitoring Devices, Wearable Technology.

Insurer: An insurer is a provider of insurance.

Legal Costs: What is defined as legal costs within travel insurance?

Legal costs are fees, costs and expenses (including Value Added Tax or equivalent local goods and services taxes) that we agree to pay for you in connection with legal action. Also, any costs that you’re ordered to pay by a court or arbitrator (other than damages, fines and penalties) or any other costs we agree to pay.

Legal Action: Legal action means settlement negotiations, hearings in a civil court, arbitration and any appeals resulting from such hearings that we’ve agreed to. This doesn’t include any application by you to the European Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights or similar international body.

Policy: Your policy is a formal, legally-binding contract of insurance that includes the terms of your cover.

Policyholder: The person named as the policyholder on the schedule – usually the person who takes out the policy.

Possession Cover: What are defined as possessions within travel insurance?

Your possessions (anything other than your valuables, electrical items and gadgets). This cover can include cover for clothes, shoes and luggage.

Pre-existing medical condition: Any serious or recurring medical condition which has been previously diagnosed or been investigated or treated in any way, at any time before travel, even if this condition is considered to be stable and under control.

Renewal Date: The renewal date is the date that the policy cover on your multi trip policy will end unless you renew and continue the policy cover. You can renew by retrieving your quote online, or by contacting us.

Single- Trip: Single trip travel insurance, also known as single trip holiday insurance, means cover for just one holiday. Your trip is from the trip start date to the cover end date shown on your schedule. If you return home before your cover end date, all cover will also end.

Terrorism: Terrorism is an act or threat of action by a person or group of people, whether acting alone or in connection with an organisation or government, committed for political, religious, ideological or similar purposes intended to influence any government or to frighten the public or any section of it. An ‘action’ means violence, property damage, putting life in danger, creating a public health risk, or disrupting electronic systems or transport services.

Please check your policy wordings for policy specifics.

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is insurance coverage for risks associated with travelling such as loss of luggage, delays, and death or injury while in a foreign country.

Trip: A journey that takes place during the period of cover which begins when you leave home and ends when you get back home, or to a hospital or nursing home in the United Kingdom, whichever is earlier.

Valuables: What is defined as valuables within travel insurance policies?

Rings, watches (excluding smart watches), necklaces, earrings, bracelets, body rings, any semi or non-precious stones or metals, costume jewellery and any electrical item that is not a gadget that requires power either from the mains or from a battery.

Winter Sports: Specific sports and activities undertaken on a wintersports holiday.

Some of these activities include:

  • Skiing (on and off-piste)
  • Snowboarding
  • Husky Dog Sledding
  • Ice Hockey
  • Ice diving
  • Ice Skating
  • Sledging/Tobogganing
  • Sleigh riding
  • Snow Mobile/Ski-Doos
  • Snow Parascending
  • Snow Tubing

Worldwide Cover: This is cover for travel anywhere in the world.

*Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices. This code entitles you to an additional 5% off your policy, and is a discount from the base price, not including the additional cost of optional extensions or any additional medical premium.