What does travel insurance cover?

12th January 2019by Joanna White

Travel insurance covers a whole manner of things, including (but not limited to) medical expenses, cancelled trips, delayed departures and loss and theft of belongings.

Of course, the exact things that you’re covered for will depend on your travel insurance policy and the level of cover that your insurance provider offers.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of exactly what travel insurance covers.

What does travel insurance cover – everything you need to know

When it comes to thinking about what travel insurance covers, there’s a few things that are most commonly offered by insurance providers, as well as things that are only covered in niche situations.

It’s important to choose the right travel insurance policy for you and your family; one that will cover you fully for the exact holiday that you’re planning.

Basic travel insurance cover

Many people purchase travel insurance before their holiday simply because they know they’re supposed to have it if they want to be covered while travelling. However, many people also purchase the first insurance policy they find that fits within their budget.

While this is often enough, providing that it offers a decent level of cover, it can also be detrimental to you and your bank account if you don’t choose cover that’s suitable for your needs.

Take a look below to see the most basic things that your travel insurance policy should cover you for.

Medical expenses

Arguably the most important factor to look out for when purchasing your travel insurance policy is the level of cover you’ll receive for emergency medical expenses.

Many countries don’t have a national health service in place, so you can find yourself running into extortionate medical bills if you experience a medical emergency while on holiday.


Cover for cancellation is another thing you should ensure that your travel insurance policy offers. Cancellations can sometimes occur when you’re travelling and oftentimes they’re out of your hands.

The most basic travel insurance policies will cover you for a minimum amount if you’re suddenly unable to travel and are forced to cancel your holiday.

Personal liability

Personal liability cover involves cover if you injure someone or damage their property while you’re on holiday.

If they make a claim against you then you could be required to pay incredibly high fees; however, if your insurance policy offers personal liability cover then you’ll be covered for any compensation you may have to pay to the claimant.

Missed departures

Similarly to having to cancel your trip due to circumstances that are beyond your control, your travel insurance policy should also cover you for missed departures.

This means you’ll be covered if you experience transport delays or traffic accidents that prohibit you from arriving at the airport on time to catch your flight, for example.


Delays can often occur in the travel industry, due to the likes of extreme weather conditions or flight disruptions.

If this does happen, and you find yourself delayed and stranded at the airport, then your travel insurance policy will cover you for the inconvenience caused.

Lost baggage and personal belongings

While you’d seriously hope that it will never happen to you, unfortunately sometimes luggage and personal belongings can go missing which means you’ll arrive at your destination without your baggage.

If this happens, you may have to purchase new things to wear while on holiday which will obviously cost you money that you didn’t account for. Cover for lost baggage and belongings means that you can make a claim on your travel insurance so that you get the money back for your missing possessions.

Extra types of cover

As well as the basic things that you should expect to be covered for within your policy, there may also be extras that you have to purchase on top of your current policy to ensure that you’re fully covered. These could include:

  • Over 65s travel insurance
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Extra cover for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding
  • Cruise cover
  • ‘Dangerous’ activities cover
  • Cover for various sports such as golf and water sports

Conclusion – what does travel insurance cover?

Travel insurance covers a vast range of things; whether you’re travelling somewhere in the UK or across the world, you should make sure that you’ve got a fully comprehensive travel insurance policy that will cover you in almost any eventuality.

It’s important to check that your policy covers you for the likes of medical expenses, loss and theft of your baggage, as well as for cancellations and delayed departures.