How to make a travel insurance claim

If something goes wrong on your travels you may need to make a claim on your travel insurance. This step by step guide explains how.

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What can you claim for?

Most travel insurance policies will cover you for:

    You can find out more about what is covered under a travel insurance policy here.

    What is travel insurance?

    Making a claim

    Follow these steps if you need to make a travel insurance claim:

      Your insurer may send you a claims form to complete and return with supporting evidence like photos and receipts.

      Most insurers will give you 31 days to make a claim, however you should try to claim as soon as possible, especially if it is for medical expenses.

      Exactly what you will need to make your travel insurance claim will be slightly different depending on what you are claiming for:

      Delayed flights

      If your flight has been delayed for more than a set period (often 12 hours) you can claim for additional costs incurred like food and accommodation.

      You will need to keep the receipts for anything you want to claim back, for example a hotel room and meals. You will also need a letter from the airline that confirms the delay, including the reason and length of the delay.

      Lost baggage

      Your lost baggage should be covered by your airline, but you can also claim through your insurance policy if not. To process a lost baggage claim most insurers will ask:

        If you need to buy replacement clothes, toiletries or medication make sure you keep any receipts to reclaim the cost from your insurer.

        Cancellation or curtailment

        If you have to cancel your trip before you go, or cut your holiday short, your travel insurance policy should cover the costs you incur.

        You will only be covered if you cancel for a reason that is included in your policy, for example:

          Here is exactly what is covered if you need to cancel your holiday.

          Medical expenses

          If you need medical assistance following an injury or illness you should make your insurance claim as soon as possible. If possible contact your insurer to agree to treatment before it is carried out.

          If you are travelling with someone else make sure they have copies of your details including your policy number and the contact details so they can make the claim if you are unable to.

          If you have to pay up front for any treatment make sure you get a receipt and claim the cost back when you return.

          Theft of personal items

          You must contact the police straight away if you have anything stolen. You will normally need a police report within the first 24 hours for you to claim.

          It can speed up your claim if you have evidence of the items stolen, so make sure you have the receipts, or have taken photos of the items before you travel.

          Do you have to pay an excess?

          Yes, for most claims you will need to pay an excess of between £50 and £100.

          These include claims for:

            This means you will have to pay the first part of any of the above claims. If you are receiving a lump sum, what you receive will be less the excess amount.

            For example, if you claim for a cancelled holiday that cost £2,000 and the excess is £100, you will receive £1,900 from your insurer.

            You may be given the option of waiving the excess when you buy your policy, but this will mean your cover will cost more.

            Check the terms and conditions of your policy carefully as you may be charged a higher excess if you are over a certain age, or travelling to a particular destination.

            What if your claim is denied?

            Look out for exclusions

            Check the policy documents carefully to make sure you are covered before you make a claim. Watch out for these exclusions you might miss:

              Make a complaint

              If your claim has been denied, but you have checked your policy and still feel your claim is valid, you should contact your insurer and make a formal complaint.

              If your insurer does not overturn their decision, you can refer your complaint to the financial ombudsman, who will independently assess your claim.

              Here is a more detailed look at the best ways to complain to your insurer.

              How to complain about financial services.

              If you have a pre-existing condition, you can still get a quote through These conditions could include cancer, stroke, serious heart, respiratory and terminal conditions.
              Some insurers might not cover you if you already have a serious medical condition, or if you have a number of conditions. Others might only offer insurance at a much higher price. If you're unable to find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has also set up a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.
              You can contact the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) or you can telephone 0800 138 7777.

              Make sure you get the best possible cover when you go away by comparing travel insurance deals. You can find the cover you need at the right price whatever your travel plans.