Top tips for a successful travel insurance claim

Suitcase in airport terminal

This blog is general information only. It isn’t advice and isn’t an insight into the views of TSB or any of our Partners.

Travel insurance policies help people protect themselves against unfortunate incidents such as cancellations, theft and medical emergencies while on holiday. But there are limits, and travel insurance can’t protect against absolutely everything. 

To help you stay protected, we look at the most common reasons why travel insurance claims are declined and – crucially – how you can remain fully covered so that you can enjoy peace of mind on your holiday.

Top tips for a successful travel insurance claim

What are the most common reasons for travel insurance claims being declined?

  • Policy not in force. It sounds strange, but many claims are declined because the insurance policy was not in force. This is because people often start their policy on the date their holiday starts. But what happens if something happens to you in the days, weeks or even months before? To ensure you’re fully covered, buy your travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your trip and start your cover straight away. 

  • Unattended personal possessions. Insurers typically decline claims when customers have left their items unattended – for example, leaving their bags under a sun lounger unattended when going for a swim. 

  • Travelling for longer than the stipulated trip limit. Policies typically cover you for a single trip limit of 31 days – though this can vary between policies. It’s best to check this before you travel and make sure your policy covers you for the length of your entire holiday. If you are travelling overnight, make sure your cover ends on the day you are due to arrive home.

  • Not obtaining a police report when a theft occurs. Being the victim of a theft is distressing – particularly when you’re away from home. But make sure you report it to the local police, get a report and then let your insurer know. 

  • Always declare your own medical conditions and for third parties. It’s not just your own medical conditions insurers need to know about – they may also need to know about any person’s health conditions that the trip depends on. If you’re not sure, call your insurer to find out.

  • Not keeping receipts. If an incident occurs whilst abroad such as delayed baggage or medical expenses, you must keep receipts to support your claim and in order to be reimbursed.

  • Going on a staycation? No pre-booked UK accommodation. If you’re taking a trip within the UK, make sure that your insurance covers UK trips. For example, some policies require you to have at least two consecutive nights of pre-booked accommodation for cover to be in place.

  • Extra baggage cover not taken. Baggage cover is typically included in normal travel insurance but not all policies are alike. Check the policy limits are sufficient for your needs. For example, there may be some single item limits, meaning the more expensive items in your baggage are not covered. Always check with your provider what their limits are.

  • Misuse of alcohol or drugs. Many travel insurance policies exclude cover for events that are due to the misuse of alcohol or drugs. So, this could mean that, if you have one too many drinks and this affects your judgement, you may not be covered.

Going on holiday is one of life’s greatest luxuries and, fortunately, the overwhelming majority of trips go smoothly without a glitch. However, there are occasions when things can and do go wrong for an unlucky few. While a suitable travel insurance policy can protect you and your family, like with any insurance, it has its limits. But with a bit of planning ahead, knowing what your policy covers and knowing how to avoid a few pitfalls, you can enjoy your holiday without any worry.

Everything we publish on Straightforward Money is provided as general information only. It isn’t advice and isn’t an insight into the views of TSB or any of our Partners.
Please think about getting independent financial advice if you want help with your personal situation.
We try really hard to make sure everything’s accurate when we publish it.  But the information can sometimes become out of date.  For example, we might link out to 
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