Find out how to claim on your travel insurance and what to look out for to avoid your claim being rejected.
How you start your travel insurance claim will depend on what you’re claiming for.
If you need to make a claim for medical treatment, contact your travel insurer before you actually receive any treatment if you can – but in an emergency an insurer will understand that isn’t possible.
If you can’t contact the insurer yourself, someone that’s travelling with you might be able to contact your insurer on your behalf.
If your trip is within the UK, you’ll be treated for free by the NHS, so you won’t need to claim on your travel insurance for medical treatment.
If your belongings have been lost or stolen, you’ll need to report it to the police within 24 hours and get a written police report.
If that’s not possible, tell someone in authority in the place where the loss or theft happened – for example your tour rep, transport provider or hotel manager – and get a written report from them instead.
If you need to cancel or cut short your trip, get in touch with your insurer as soon as you can. You’ll only be able to make a claim for cancelling in certain circumstances that are listed on your policy, like a bereavement, jury service or a fire at your home.
If your travel provider or tour operator is the one that cancelled, you’ll need to get in touch with them for a refund instead.
If you need to give your travel insurer:
You need to declare any pre-existing health problems when you take out travel insurance, but if your health changes you should update your insurer as soon as possible before your trip.
Make copies of your travel insurance documents, passport, visa and holiday details (like the flight times and hotel name). It’s also handy to have an emergency contact – make sure you know their contact details and that they have your travel insurance policy number and holiday information.
If you’re taking any valuables with you, take photos of them and make sure you have a copy just in case you need to show proof of ownership or the state of wear.
Yes, there’s usually a maximum limit for each type of claim.
Out of 1,008 annual travel insurance policies on Defaqto, 98% cover baggage as standard, but the cover levels varied.
The majority (60%) of policies have a baggage cover limit over £2,000, but almost one-in-five policies have a cover limit of less than £1,500.
Medical expenses cover can seem very generous on paper – 95% of policies would cover £3m or more in medical expenses. But this figure has to include repatriation costs, which can be extremely high if you need to be flown home under medical supervision.
Most travel insurance policies let you to claim for:
You'll also be able to make a claim if you need to cancel or shorten your trip because of:
Your insurer might reject your claim if you:
If you think your claim was rejected unfairly, you can make a complaint in writing to the insurer and state how you would like it resolved.
If you aren’t happy with your insurer’s response or you haven’t received one after eight weeks, you can ask for a ‘letter of deadlock’, which states that you and your insurer haven’t been able to reach an agreement. You can then take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
This depends as Covid cover varies between providers.
Most insurers will cover your medical treatment if you catch Covid abroad, but it’s far less likely you’ll be covered for additional accommodation and repatriation costs if you’re not ill but have to quarantine abroad.
Doubling up on cover can complicate the claims process.
It’s not a good idea to double-insure, but it’s easy to do it by mistake. For example, you might have travel insurance cover through your bank, and a more extensive policy that you bought yourself.
You won’t be compensated twice, so it’s best to only contact one provider to make the claim but you must make that insurer aware that you have another policy. Your first insurer will get in touch with the second provider on your behalf to decide how to resolve the claim.
Last checked 12 April 2021