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Travel Insurance: What Is and Isn't Covered under Cancellation Cover

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Will your Cancellation claim be rejected by your travel insurance provider? The Cancellation section of most travel insurance policies will reimburse you up to a certain amount for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses such as flights and hotels should you need to cancel or cut short your trip. But not all reasons for cancelling a trip will result in a valid claim. Find out what cancellation usually covers, and what is commonly excluded.

photo of suitcases at airport

What's Typically Covered under Cancellation

Broadly speaking, Cancellation cover is for emergency situations that are beyond your control. Below are some common reasons for cancelling that are covered under most travel insurance plans. If you need to cancel for any of these reasons, you'll usually have a valid claim. Not all policies are the same, however, so be sure to check the details of your individual policy.

Valid Reasons for Trip Cancellation Commonly Include

  • Death or illness (of you, your travelling companion, someone you're staying with, a close relative or business associate)
  • Redundancy (may depend upon your age and time with the company)
  • Home damage (e.g., due to burglary or serious damage due to subsidence, fire, storm flooding, etc.)
  • Passport or visa theft
  • Jury service
  • Court cases

Common Exclusions to Cancellation Cover

There are a number of circumstances under which you may cancel a trip that are NOT covered by Cancellation cover. If you try to submit a Cancellation claim for these reasons, your probably won't be reimbursed. Below is a list of the types of reasons for canceling that won't be covered under most standard policy terms and conditions.

  • You changed your mind about going on a trip
  • You need to cancel due to a pre-existing medical condition that you did not declare
  • Your financial situation changing
  • The tour operator failing to provide the arrangements
  • Travelling against medical advise or to get medical treatment
  • Failing to get a valid passport or other travel documents

To find out what is or isn't covered by your travel insurance policy, check the Policy Wording. If you don't have it to hand, you can often quickly locate the document by Googling, for instance, "Admiral travel insurance policy wording." If that doesn't work, try calling the customer service number and asking for the document to be emailed to you. And also remember that you'll need to pay the excess on valid claims.

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The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.