Travel tips: what makes insurance claims void?


A few years ago, a famous airline's slogan was satirised as "Breakfast in London, lunch in New York… luggage in Caracas". Enough to warrant an insurance claim? Probably. But there are plenty of travel claims which fall at the first fence.

Travel Claims

So why would an apparently reasonable insurance claim be declined? Here are 10 good reasons for making sure you're fully aware of your travel policy's terms:

Arrange the right policy

Make sure your policy covers cancellation, baggage and existing medical conditions, especially if you're using price comparison websites. A cheap policy isn't necessarily the right policy.

Existing medical conditions

When an insurer asks you – bearing in mind this could be buried in fine print – make sure you disclose any existing medical conditions.

Theft? Get a police report…

If you're claiming for stolen items, you'll need the evidence to back it up.

…and the proof you own it

To prove something's been lost or stolen you'll also be asked for evidence it's yours.

Extreme sports fan?

Not all holiday activities are always covered by insurance. If you're planning a vigorous physical sport, from skiing or biking to base-jumping or sky-diving, you'll need to declare it and have it specifically added to your insurance, or even take out separate cover.

Drink and drugs

Don't even think about it. Insurers void all claims against anything that happens under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.

'Consequential losses'

A little complex, but still potentially important. After an accident abroad, for example, an insurer might pay out for medical bills and repatriation, but not for loss of earnings once you're home but unable to work.

Insurers always wish you an enjoyable holiday…

…but they won't pay out just because you didn't have one. For example, if you fall ill on holiday, your policy will deal with your medical bills provided you have the right cover. But don't expect to be able to claim for the cost of the holiday simply because it didn't work out.

Make love not war

Insurers don’t pay out if you get hurt in a fight unless you can prove you were only defending yourself.


If terrorist action upsets your holiday it is not covered, except for emergency medical treatment and repatriation. Exotic destinations can be less than stable, so keep an eye out for current Foreign Office advice.

Make sure that your insurance cover is right on the money!

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